Building Science

What is Building Science?

Building Science is the branch of science dealing with construction, maintenance, safety, and energy efficiency of buildings (Krigger: glossary). By incorporating building science topics or lessons into the curriculum, you bring real life situations into the classroom. It is important to inform students (future home buyers) to recognize a healthy home.

To learn more, visit, which provides objective, high-quality information about buildings. This resource combines building physics, systems design concepts, and an awareness of sustainability to promote the design and construction of buildings that are more durable, healthier, more sustainable and more economical than most buildings built today.

Renewable Energy in Building Science Conceptual Framework

Since a consistent building science curriculum does not exist at the high school level in Wisconsin, this framework was produced as a reference tool for teachers to use when developing their coursework. This framework serves as the foundation for a curriculum. The concepts contained within the framework provide the basis for a strong, organized and comprehensive curriculum.

In an effort to provide learning concepts in the evolving fields of building science and renewable energy, this framework aims to assist educators in building a curriculum that best fits the needs of their unique education programs. As this framework develops, we welcome constructive feedback and encourage teachers and curriculum developers to assist with modifications to make this reference tool even more comprehensive and useful for the classroom.

This framework and its concepts were derived from multiple sources, including energy education and renewable energy experts, organizations and resources, which are listed in the acknowledgment section.

Download Framework (pdf)

Download the Review Form (docx)

Revisions will be ongoing as the document continues to be improved. We appreciate your feedback.

Student-built Homes

In classrooms and construction sites across the state, technology education students are gaining the skills they will need to become effective members of tomorrow's building workforce. Led by innovative educators and community partners, these students are learning what it takes to be outstanding employees. Student-built home projects in Wisconsin may not be as numerous as science fairs, but they offer similar benefits in hands-on learning. Through KEEP and Focus on Energy, technology education teachers are accessing energy efficiency training and techniques to pass on to their students. From choosing high efficiency furnaces to integrating foam insulation and thorough caulking, technology education students are discovering that energy efficient home building is superior and yet no more difficult than other methods. These educators armed with the latest energy information and their enthusiastic students will pave the way to a more energy efficient future for Wisconsin.

Websites of School Construction Programs:

Adams-Friendship High School: (house build slideshow on homepage)


Baraboo School District:

Craig High School, Janesville:

De Pere:

D.C. Everest, Weston:

Hartford Union:

Minocqua - Lakeland Union:


Mt. Horeb:



Parker High School, Janesville:

Stevens Point Area Senior High/P.J. Jacobs Jr.


Sheboygan North and South:

Sun Prairie:

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR

The professionals of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®  are trained to identify the cause of problems or potential problems in your home and provide you with solutions.

The first step in the process is to schedule an in-home evaluation. Expert consultants will conduct a thorough inspection of all the systems in your home and identify problems and their sources. You'll receive an objective, third-party diagnosis and a report of recommended solutions.

Once all work is completed, a post-performance evaluation and inspection are completed so you know things have changed for the better. Whatever the situation, the comfort, safety and durability of your home remain top priority. Cash-Back Rewards are also available on select installed measures.

Visit the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR website.

Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes

The Wisconsin ENERGY STAR® Homes Program uses the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) strict guidelines for energy efficiency as a basis of the certification process for each home. In addition, homes must comply with specific building requirements for final certification from the Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes Program. Four basic areas of building science and performance are addressed through the certification process: Air flow, Heat flow, Moisture flow, and Indoor air quality. When implemented, the standards and guidelines can enhance a home's comfort, safety, durability, and energy efficiency.

The goal of students building Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes is to promote awareness about the environment, energy efficiency, and health, while teaching the students how to build quality homes. These students will be building tomorrow's residential inventory. By partnering with an accredited consultant to provide guidance through the Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes certification process, students are gaining the experience and knowledge needed to succeed in the homebuilding business.

KEEP is here to help your student-built home project become energized! We can connect you with the Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes consultant in your area. Contact Sara Windjue for information at 715.346.4163 or or visit the Focus on Energy website and click on Residential Programs.

The schools listed below have built Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes or remodeled/added an addition to a home to the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR standards.

















































Appleton School District


Hartford Union High School


Kiel High School - Home Performance



La Follette High School



Lakeland Union High School


Lincoln High School

Wisconsin Rapids

Mauston High School


Merrill High School


Northland Pines High School

Eagle River

Oconomowoc High School


Parker and Craig High Schools


P.J. Jacobs Junior High

Stevens Point


Rhinelander High School



Shawano High School


Sheboygan North & South HS


Stanley-Boyd high School


Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH)

Stevens Point

Sun Prairie High School

Sun Prairie




Case Study in Building Science: Madison La Follette High School (PDF)

Case Study in Building Science: Sun Prairie High School (PDF)

Case Study in Building Science: Stevens Point Area School District (PDF)



Renewable Ready Homes

Energy prices are only predicted to rise. Insulate yourself from future spikes in energy costs and take your savings potential to the next level; build your Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Home renewable ready. Incorporating renewable ready details into planning and construction is relatively easy and inexpensive. To learn more about building a renewable ready home, visit the Focus on Energy website or download the Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes Renewable Ready Construction Pre-Qualification, Site Verification and Reward Form by visiting and click on Renewable Ready Form.

Instructor Recognition


The following instructors have been recognized at the Wisconsin Technology Education Association (WTEA) conference because of their involvement with the Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Programs.



Bob Baker, Stevens Point Area Senior High
Robert Below, Sheboygan South H.S.
Robert Boenisch, Kiel H.S.
Terry Bores, Lincoln H.S. (Wisconsin Rapids)
Greg Brown, Shawano H.S.
Mike Effinger, Lakeland Union H.S. (Minocqua)
Randy Fabian, Mauston H.S.
Mike Geer, Stanley-Boyd H.S.
Russ Germain, Rhinelander H.S.
Jeff Grunewald, Sheboygan North H.S.
Joe Kruser, Parker and Craig H.S.'s (Janesville)
John Lonergan, Hartford Union H.S.
Pete McConnell, Merrill H.S.
Steve Munson, Madison LaFollette H.S.
Steve Olson, Oconomowoc H.S.
David Rasmussen, P.J. Jacobs J.H., Stevens Point
Bill Rowden, Northland Pines H.S. (Eagle River)
Tommy Sanders, Sun Prairie H.S.
Gary Vanness, Appleton School District




To learn more about the Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Programs, please visit our Home Energy Education page or the Focus on Energy website at




Energy-Efficient Student Builder of the Year Awards

For several years, KEEP sponsored an annual Energy-Efficient Student Builder of the Year Award to acknowledge the accomplishments of student builders across Wisconsin who experienced energy-efficient building techniques. Three student builders were selected by a panel of judges each year to receive the Energy-Efficient Student Builder of the Year Award. Students, their guests, and teachers received exclusive invitations to the Energy Awards Ceremony where student builders were recognized with certificates of achievement. Each winning student also received a sponsorship from the Energy Center of Wisconsin to attend a day-long, hands-on residential workshop of their choice.



2006 Energy-Efficient Student Builder Award Winners

  • Derek Muraski, Antigo HS
  • Tim Rogers, La Follete HS, Madison
  • Jacob Shallow, Oconto HS

2007 Energy-Efficient Student Builder Award Winners

  • Lucas Anderson, Mt. Horeb HS
  • Scott Matucheski, Antigo HS
  • Todd Nelson, Plymouth Comprehensive HS

2008 Energy-Efficient Student Builder Award Winners

  • Alex Trepanier, Oconto HS
  • Gaven Bandt, Wautoma HS

2009 Energy-Efficient Student Builder Award Winners

  • Ethan Budimlija, Rib Lake HS
  • Marvin Gilliom Jr., Reuther Central HS, Kenosha
  • Luke Meincke, Tomah HS

2010 Energy-Efficient Student Builder Award Winners

  • Michael Duffy, Mauston HS
  • Miguel Sanchez, Hartford Union HS
  • Amos O'Brien, Rhinelander HS

2011 Energy-Efficient Student Builder Award Winners




  • Macy Wasson, Westfield Area HS
  • Adam Holquist, Rhinelander HS
  • Chris Hirman, Rhinelander HS





Classroom Ideas

Guest Speakers



    Contact your local ENERGY STAR Representative (For a listing call 1.800.762.7077)



    Click here to find guest speakers in your area

Field Trips



    Scavenger Hunt for Ice Dams and Icicles: After it snows, lead a field trip around a residential area to identify homes that may have poor insulation or other problems causing home performance failures.



    Blower Door Demonstration: Ask the local ENERGY STAR Representative if you can bring students on site during home performance testing of a home.




    Green Buildings: Visit a green building in your county.



    Click here to find field trip ideas in your area.


Media projects



    Newspaper and Local Television Stations: If you are working on a house building project with your students in the community, ask a reporter to come out and interview the students. This makes great connections and exposes your project to the public. If you need assistance, please contact KEEP. We are here to help make connections.




    Students Advertisements: Ask your students to develop an advertisement to sell a green or environmentally built home. They could do this as a newspaper ad, PowerPoint presentation, or as a video clip.



    Check your local newspaper to find articles on home performance. Topics may include mold, home performance tips during cold winters and hot summers, and energy-efficient appliances.

Volunteer Projects and Community Involvement



    Student Built Homes: Over ten schools in Wisconsin offer house building classes through their technology education department. Involve you and your students on a house building project with a local builder.



    Habitat for Humanity Homes: Involve your students in Habitat for Humanity homes in your community.


College Construction Programs in Wisconsin

Visit (click on Education) for information about post-secondary institutions in Wisconsin that offer construction education.




Important Links

The Energy & Environmental Building Association (EEBA) - To provide education and resources to transform the residential design and construction industry to profitably deliver energy efficient and environmentally responsible buildings and communities.


National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) - Known as "the voice of the housing industry," NAHB is affiliated with more than 800 state and local home builders associations around the country.


REScheck is a software application that can be downloaded from the federal Department of Energy. A Wisconsin version is an option within REScheck and is used for Wisconsin one- and two-family dwelling design.


U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Building Energy Codes Program


U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) - a community of leaders working to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated. We envision an environmentally responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.


Wisconsin Builders Association (WBA) - Twenty-four local home builders associations located geographically across the state belong to the Wisconsin Builders Association.


Wisconsin Department of Commerce - Uniform Dwelling Code Program


Wisconsin Department of Commerce - Dwelling Contractor Certification and Education