The simple answer is: Yes. If you are familiar with the basic principles of building science, you will make better decisions about your building. You will ask important questions and be able to take part in essential discussions about your home. And fortunately, it is within everybody’s grasp to understand enough fundamental building science to clarify the importance of applying it to your project.
The concept of building science as a distinct mode of inquiry is relatively new, and asks a very basic question: How do we create comfortable and efficient indoor spaces without causing negative human health or building durability issues ?
Answering this question requires a holistic approach, incorporating elements of decorating, engineering, physics, health and environmental science, and even the social sciences. Each of these fields is capable of shedding light on some aspect of building science, and design teams armed with adequate knowledge about building science can create a plan for building that will not only be comfortable, it will do no harm.
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Shelter. For most of human history, if a building kept all — or even most — of the elements at bay most of the time and did not fall down or otherwise cause direct harm, it met our expectations. Human beings have thousands of years of experience in successfully making buildings that meet these basic requirements.
It is when we add the relatively recent (and continuously evolving) notion of comfort that we enter new territory. We only have a few centuries of making buildings with energy systems — combustion of wood or fossil fuels — that effectively temper living conditions with any degree of smoke control via functional chimneys. We have about one century of experience with buildings that can provide the myriad conveniences of electricity. We have just over half a century of attempting to offer year-round control of temperature and humidity to a fine degree, and only a couple decades of trying to do so without using obscene amounts of fossil fuel energy. So, although it may seem that the
Buildings from the past provided adequate shelter, but do not meet modern notions of comfort basic question of building science should be something we’ve already Decorating Galleryd out, it really is a relatively recent pursuit.