Certificate in Building Science and Net Zero Design (Online)

View Syllabus

Net Zero buildings are carbon neutral structures that integrate hyper-efficiency with renewable technologies. They are at the cutting edge of sustainable design, and a key strategy for policymakers addressing climate change.

Net Zero designs are made possible with an understanding of building science- the analysis of how physical phenomena, including heat, moisture, air movement, and gravity affect buildings. Building science provides a body of knowledge for designers to use these forces to maximize comfort and minimize energy use.

Through lecture, case study, demonstration, hands-on testing, and design exercises, students will gain a firm grasp of the science behind building performance and begin to explore how to design in accordance with the laws of physics and the forces of nature. If you are a designer, builder, project manager, property owner, or policy professional, or are moving toward one of these careers, a firm understanding of building science and the path to net-zero buildings is fast becoming a critical credential for any successful practitioner.  Prerequisite: basic building literacy or enrollment in Yestermorrow’s two-day Anatomy of a House workshop (online for 2021), occurring prior to the Certificate program.

The Fall 2021 Session of the course will take place online Monday and Wednesday from 6-9 from August 16 - October 11, 2021. In addition to these class meetings, students have access to pre-recorded lectures that they can view at their own convenience and live office hours with the instructors each week. Students can expect to spend approximately 15 hours per week engaged in coursework. 

 Limited scholarships are available for this program.



"The instructors were all highly knowledgeable of their material. They were enthusiastic and helpful with all questions, where to go for sources, and, in addition, provided online links and information."

"Jacob knew his stuff and wasn't afraid to let us challenge him. Learned so much the first week that it felt like I was at Yestermorrow for a month."

"By the end of the week our small class was a tight-knit unit pulling together in the same direction. Incredibly the days seven hours instruction never dragged; the content and workload never overwhelming."

What was the most valuable part of the course: "The instruction and appreciation that each student was coming to the course with different backgrounds and skill levels. I was excited to come to class every morning and it felt like a safe space to be vulnerable towards what I didn’t know."

"Jacob is an authority on the subject matter and teaches with a passion that is inspiring."


AIA Credit Courses, Building Systems Design and Building Science


Intermediate, Professional


  • American Institute of Architects (AIA): 140 HSW
  • Sterling College: 8 Continuing Education Units ($1040 additional)

Related Courses