Course syllabus


BOM285 Building performance: Design and assessment lp2 HT19 (7.5 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Contact details


Paula Wahlgren,

Main lecturers:

Pär Johansson,, Paula Wahlgren,


Ali Karim,; Fredrik Domhagen,; Paula Wahlgren,; Pär Johansson,; Quan Jin,; Yutaka Goto,

Study administrator:

Ingela Gustafsson,

Guest lectures:

Anders Ekberg, Sweco, Anders Lindvall, Thomas Concrete Group, Despoina Teli, Building Services Engineering, Chalmers, Jimmy Lovén, VBK, Kajsa Crona, Sweco Architects, Kristina Mjörnell, RISE, Max Tillberg, Bengt Dahlgren

Course purpose

The aim of the course is to provide an in-depth knowledge on building physics related performance criteria. Predictions of temperature and moisture distribution in materials and components with varying boundary conditions, impact of climate, evaluation of indoor environmental quality, including daylight, thermal storage and moisture safety, are studied. Moreover, the course aims to provide a basic understanding of different engineering roles, of how planning, design, construction, operation, assessment and renovation are interconnected, and of how the choice as well as handling of materials affect the planning and implementation of construction projects (in relation to requirements and recommendations in applicable norms and standards).



Covid-19 considerations

We all need to keep social distancing. This is very particularly important when you do group work. Most teaching is made on-line. On a few occasions we meet in school, 2nd of November, 3rd of December, 12th of December. If you feel ill on any of these occasions, talk to Paula Wahlgren ASAP. You will use measurement equipment, which both teachers and students will disinfect. Due to Covid-19 the exam is a home exam.

Course literature

Introduction to Building Physics, Carl-Eric Hagentoft, 2001 (Cremona).

Climate and Architecture, Torben Dahl, 2008.

Both books are available at the A-library and at internet stores, the majority of the required pages are provided through Canvas. The first book will be used in later courses in Building Technology (VBF021, BOM175) and has been used in earlier courses, so second hand copies can be found second hand at

Additional literature is provided at Canvas. For repetition, you can use your own course books on heat and mass transfer, building physics, physics, etc.

Course design

The course is divided into five focus areas or themes:

Theme 0. Introduction and repetition

Theme 1. Daylight and windows

Theme 2. Climate and building design

Theme 3. Moisture safety and durability assessment

Theme 4. Indoor air quality

Theme 5. Holistic approach

Within each theme there are lectures, exercises, study questions, mandatory weekly assignments (project 4,5 c) and one of the following; computer lab/home lab/discussion/presentation exercise. The course ends with a written exam (examination 3,0 c).

You will meet the teachers at least twice a week. This is the best time to ask questions. You may also use e-mail. For e-mail addresses see Contact detail.

Course material is provided through Canvas, which is also used to hand in the assignments. TimeEdit is used for location and time. The document “Course content BOM285” is a framework that describes the activities in the course.

Learning objectives and syllabus

Learning objectives:

- Determine heat and moisture conditions in air, materials and building components at varying boundary conditions in different climates.
- Select and apply relevant models, input data, and measuring techniques to determine heat and moisture conditions in air, materials and building components.
- Understand the impact of changes in the building envelope on indoor environmental qualities, such as daylight, thermal comfort (incl. thermal storage), moisture safety and indoor air quality.
- Evaluate characteristics of different materials, and material combinations' suitability, with respect to heat and moisture exposure, including the impact on degradation processes.
- Motivate the selection of materials and models by critically evaluating and summarizing the work process in both written and oral presentations to communicate and discuss the results with experts and the public.
- Reflect upon ethical dilemmas, including sustainable development, with respect to a building's performance.

Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen.

Study plan

Examination form

The project is examined by weekly assignments and by one mandatory, 5th of December, and one semi-mandatory discussion exercise, 16th of December.

In case of major difficulties to attend the mandatory discussion (i.e. surgery, wedding), contact Paula Wahlgren so that the discussion can take place in advance. In case of emergency/illness, contact Paula Wahlgren via e-mail ASAP. Regarding the semi-mandatory discussion, we strongly recommend participation, but it is possible to hand in an essay instead (1000-1200 words).

The written exam takes place on the 13th of January 2020. Approved aids during the exam is Chalmers approved calculator. Formulas (as shown on Canvas) and material data are provided with the exam. It is mandatory to sign up for the exam.

Cheating is defined as ‘misleading in connection with an exam or evaluation’. Examples of cheating is to copy text from the internet, hand in another person’s work under your own name, and to use unauthorized means during exams. Cheating can result in, for example, suspension. Suspected cheating is reported to the Disciplinary board and handled by them.

For more information see:


Mandatory assignments

Deadline for handing in written assignments are Thursdays at 12.00 (see dates below).

Theme 0. Repetition exercises and building description (7 nov).

Theme 1. Computer lab and hand-in (14 nov)

Theme 2. Computer lab and hand-in (21 nov)

Theme 3a. Computer lab and hand-in (28 nov)

Theme 3b. Presentation/discussion exercise and hand-in (5 dec)

Theme 4. Home lab and hand-in (12 dec)

Theme 5. Discussion exercise (or essay) and hand- in (19 dec)


It is mandatory to be physically present at the presentation and discussion of theme 3b (5th of December) and semi-mandatory to be physically present at the discussion of theme 5 (16th of December), see Examination.

The work and hand-ins are usually made by three students (coordinated with VSM167), except for the Repetitions hand- in (theme 0) and the final hand-in (theme 5) which are individual.

The assignments are graded U (fail) or G (pass). In case of not approved assignment, corrections can be handed in and discussed on the 18th of December by booking in advance in Canvas.

If an assignment is not handed in on time, the next chance is one week before the written exam in April (7th of April).

Course summary:

Date Details Due