Renovation and Rehabilitation

Seminar Description

You have a row house, you have a walk up, you have a mess and you want to fix it. How do you keep the rain out of it? How do you make it energy efficient, not violate the building code and not irritate your contractor and the owner? How do you not screw up the historic significance if there is any? What about apartments? What about frame houses? How do you deal with brick and masonry basement foundations from the inside? What are sacrificial mortars and renderings? Should I worry about freeze-thaw damage when I insulate on the interior? How do I insulate on the exterior of a mass wall assembly? More questions - and more answers - from a building science guru, Professor Joseph Lstiburek (yes, his old alma matter took him back).

The session is delivered by Dr. Joseph Lstiburek and provides a highly personal "boardroom" discussion the specifics of renovation and rehabilitation. Attendance is limited to 15.

Please note the session starts at 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Westford Rengency Inn and Conference Center in Westford, Massachusetts.


Dates and Locations

June 12   Westford, MA
August 21   Westford, MA
September 25   Westford, MA
November 13   Westford, MA


The registration fee for this seminar is $395USD.
The fee includes lunch but does not include travel or accommodations.


Day 1
Schedule Session
8:30 - 8:45 Introduction: Setting the Stage

What do you want to do with the building? Save it? Save energy? Both? Context is important.

8:45 - 10:00 Foundations: Basements and Crawlspaces

Dealing with them from the inside and the outside. Rubble foundations and brick foundations and sacrificial coatings.

10:15 - 12:00 Walls and Windows

Dealing with them from the inside and dealing with them from the outside. Overcladding is easier than you think. Interior insulation is harder than you think. So you want to keep the existing window and fix it?

12:30 - 2:00 Roofs: Vented and Unvented Roofs

How to turn a vented roof into an unvented roof. Roofs as decks.

2:15 - 3:15 Ventilation and HVAC

Which is better: supply, exhaust or balanced ventilation?

3:15 - 4:30 Slabs

Dealing with them from underneath and from the top side.

Reading Material

The reading material for the course is listed below. You are welcome to view or print all of them if you choose. You can find them by following the links below to our Building Science Information website.

Reading Material
Introduction: Setting the Stage
BSI-003: Concrete Floor Problems html pdf (1 MB)
BSI-004: Drainage, Holes and Moderation html pdf (2.1 MB)
BSI-011: Capillarity—Small Sacrifices html pdf (1.3 MB)
BSI-013: Face Lift for Old Buildings html pdf (0.65 MB)
BSI-029: Stucco Woes—The Perfect Storm html pdf (0.2 MB)
BSI-035: We Need to Do It Different This Time html pdf (0.58 MB)
BSI-038: Mind the Gap, Eh? html pdf (0.2 MB)
BSI-041: Rubble Foundations html pdf (2.4 MB)
BSI-043: Don't Be Dense—Cellulose and Dense-Pack Insulation html pdf (1.1 MB)
BSI-046: Dam Ice Dam html pdf (1.4 MB)
BSI-047: Thick as a Brick html pdf (0.7 MB)
BSI-049: Confusion About Diffusion html pdf (0.8 MB)

Continuing Education

This seminar is available for 8 AIA credit hours.

AIA The American Institute of Architects is the voice of the architectural profession and the resource for its members in service to society. For more information, see

If you have any questions about the continuing education arrangements with any of our partners listed above, or you would like to add Building Science Corporation as a continuing education provider for your organization, please call us at 978-589-5100.