The Science of Building Better Basements - EnerQuality

The Science of Building Better Basements

Education The Science of Building Better Basements

More and more homebuyers expect their basements to provide the same level of comfort, livability, and moisture control as above grade spaces. Homebuyers won’t accept the damp, cold, wet, mouldy basements of the past. For smart builders, this seminar presents an opportunity to perfect their craft and to deliver the high performing living space that their home buyers demand. This seminar will identify key areas to enhance basement performance, introduce best practices to understand materials, components, and systems and how they work together and ultimately to provide a better basement. The seminar will also highlight the importance of radon control which is the key to healthy and safe lower living areas where people will be spending more time as they work from home and turn their basements into valuable additional living spaces.

Course Content:

In this workshop, you will:

  • Understand the science of how basements work
  • Discuss the poor practices that impair basement performance
  • Describe basement construction practices that improve basement performance
  • Describe alternative approaches through case studies

Seminar content:

  • High performance basements
  • Soil characteristics: bearing capacity, backfilling pressure, porosity, high water table, pore water, frost penetration
  • Heat loss control: Types of insulation and their locations
  • Moisture control: Moisture in soils, moisture in materials, water vapour presence
  • Air leakage control: Envelop durability energy efficiency, ventilation system effectiveness
  • Radon control in basements and the need for proper radon barriers
  • Basement details that work!


  • Michael Lio

    M. Eng, P.Eng, President, buildABILITY Corporation

    Michael is a professional engineer who has consulted on projects and publications across North America relating to housing, energy efficiency and sustainability. His studies have supported the development of the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes program in Ontario, the EnerGuide Rating System, and the new R-2000 Program. Michael has facilitated hundreds of training sessions for audiences across Canada. He also taught sustainable housing in the Architecture Program at Ryerson University for 12 years and also taught building science and building technology and ecology for 15 years at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto.

Cancellation Policy:

EnerQuality endeavours to be as flexible as possible with our cancellation policy. In the event you are unable to personally attend a workshop, you may, with prior notice, substitute another representative from your company. A refund (less $50 administration fee) will be issued for cancellations made up to 14 days in advance of the workshop. Contractual obligations and agreements with third parties may require for the policy to be amended or revised from time to time. EnerQuality reserves the right to reschedule, relocate, or cancel events. Should this be required, we will provide prior notice to all registrants.