Building physics

ltarc1260  2021-2022  Tournai

Building physics
3 credits
20.0 h + 15.0 h

The prerequisite(s) for this Teaching Unit (Unité d’enseignement – UE) for the programmes/courses that offer this Teaching Unit are specified at the end of this sheet.
Main themes
This teaching unit cover the basic concepts of the physics of walls, hygrothermal comfort and air quality. In particular, it is designed to make students familiar with the notions of mechanical and thermal energy, interior thermal comfort and heat and steam transfer through ventilation and within the walls of a building.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 This teaching unit focuses particularly on two dimensions of the profile of a Bachelor level graduate in Architecture:  developing a technical dimension and making use of other disciplines.
Specific learning outcomes:
By the end of this course, students will be able to
  • describe the methods of thermal transfer in material.
  • clarify the parameters of hygrothermal comfort and air quality and determine, in a static situation, how to achieve this comfort.
  • establish the main dimensions linked to the thermal qualities of buildings : thermal transmission coefficient of walls, nominal thermal loss in buildings during winter, power and quantity of energy used for heating, rate of air circulation etc.  
  • calculate the change in temperature and the transfer of steam within an opaque or glazed wall, in a static situation.
  • detect and estimate the risks of superficial and internal condensation of a wall, for a given climatic situation, both internally and externally.
  • specify the thermal bridges and assess their impact.
Contribution to the learning outcome reference framework:
Make use of other subjects
  • Seek out other approaches, exchanges of views and ways of enhancing thinking about architecture
  • Interpret the knowledge of other subjects
Use the technical dimension
  • Be familiar with and describe the main technical principles of building
  • Be able to apply the various basic technical principles in a producing a work of architecture
  • Energy (work and heat) - Power
  • Heat propagation modes
  • Comfort and architecture: thermal comfort and comfort based on air quality
  • House energy appraisal: transmission losses and ventilation losses. Nominal power for heating. Thermal bridges
  • Hygrothermal - risks of internal condensation
  • Exercices with heat/work/power notions
  • Study case: analysis of a unifamilial house
  • Thermal transmission coefficients
  • Global level of insulation (k)
  • Ventilation : sizing principles
  • Risk analysis of internal condensation (Glaser method)
Teaching methods
Theory: lessons in auditorium
Exercices: two students groups works
Evaluation methods
continuous assessment : exercises sessions report.
Oral exam : theory and exercises
Online resources
Publications « architecture et climat », université catholique de Louvain [ ]
Energie+ Efficacité énergétique des bâtiments tertiaires [ ]
EPFL, coursera, Energétique du bâtiment  [ ]
Portail de l'énergie en Wallonie  []
Teaching materials
  • présentations PowerPoint du cours théorique
  • énoncés d'exercices sur les différents thèmes abordés en cours
  • Notes personnelles de l'étudiant
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Bachelor in Architecture (Tournai)