Instructor Toolkit

SEDAC has developed 15 modules about energy efficiency and energy code topics,
for use in community college and other building science training programs.

Explore the tools below to learn how to use our curriculum.

About our Program

The Building Energy Education (BEE) Fundamentals program teaches students how to design and construct more energy efficient buildings by introducing them to energy code basics. Our goal is to increase knowledge of building energy efficiency and energy codes and to raise awareness of energy efficiency and code professional careers. This program is funded by the Department of Energy and delivered in partnership with the State Energy Offices of Illinois, Nevada, and Hawaii.


Most building professionals need a basic understanding of the energy code these days, especially if they are engaged in new construction. In addition, we use the energy code as a vehicle to introduce basic energy efficiency and building science principles that professionals are likely to encounter in their work.

We've tried to keep the principles general so that they are applicable for students in any state, no matter which code they use. Students are encouraged to look up requirements in the relevant code for their state. Although most references are from the 2018 IECC, we also include examples from ASHRAE 90.1-2016. We also provide examples from different climate zones. Activities can be easily adjusted for the local applicable code.

Our target audience is community college instructors and students in building design, construction, and sustainability fields. This program can also provide on-the-job training for entry-level mechanical and electrical contractors, architects, carpenters, and anyone who is interested in building energy efficiency.  We imagine that these modules will be useful for a wide variety of training programs for students and existing professionals.  High school teachers in industrial technology or construction may find the materials useful, with some adjustments.

The educational content in this program provides fundamental knowledge required for careers in building design & construction. Completing modules in this program will support existing training certification programs and will prepare students to pursue more in-depth training provided by other organizations such as the Building Performance Institute (BPI), the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), and the International Code Council (ICC).

The Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) created this training curriculum with guidance from building professionals, including architects, contractors, and code officials. SEDAC is an applied research and training program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Our mission is to reduce the energy footprint of Illinois and beyond.

Please contact our energy code team at or call us at 1-800-214-7954.

Using our Curriculum

Yes. These modules are sponsored by the Department of Energy, available to all.


No! Use the modules, portions of modules, or activities and questions that are relevant to your existing courses. This training program contains 15 different modules on a variety of building energy efficiency and energy code topics. The modules are divided into smaller subsections and activities that can be easily incorporated into existing courses in community colleges per instructors’ needs.

Should you decide to use the curriculum in its entirety, the materials would likely take at least a semester to get through. The program contains 15 modules, each with a substantial quantity of material including presentations, activities, videos, quiz questions, and more.

Feel free to adapt the content or modify the material, but please make sure to give credit to SEDAC and the Department of Energy when you use our materials and indicate any modifications you've made.

This instructor toolkit includes a complete list of available materials. We've included some sample curriculum and introductory videos to help you preview our content and decide which materials to use.

The modules are located at our Moodle site: Instructors can sign up (for free) to access our modules. Presentations, activities, and other materials are available for download and then can be integrated into your lesson plans and shared with your students. You can also direct your students directly to the Moodle site where they can login to access materials and resources on their own. Answer keys and presentation notes are only available to instructors.

Most of the presentations and activities are meant to be used in the classroom, delivered by an instructor. However, some of the activities (such as student worksheets) can be assigned as homework, and presentations and resources can be provided to students to introduce or review the material.

Our modules are a work in progress. Material development is ongoing and quality improvements are continually made. We are very appreciative of your feedback. Send us an email at

Click on the videos and course titles below for a short description of the content included in our Building Energy Education training

Intro Modules

  1. Careers in Energy Efficiency: Slideshow, video
  2. Pathways to Energy Efficiency Careers: Slideshow, green building career maps
  3. Code Official Careers: Slideshow, 2 videos
  4. Activities: Combined presentation, review worksheet, speed research activity, careers taboo, and jeopardy activity


  1. Understanding Energy and How it Moves: Slideshow, video
  2. Heat Transfer and the Building Envelope: Slideshow, videos
  3. Energy and Mechanical Systems: Slideshow, HVAC systems video
  4. Activities: Combined presentation, review worksheet, heat transfer lab, and Jeopardy activity
  1. What are Energy Codes and Standards? Presentation
  2. What is the Purpose of Energy Codes & Standards? Presentation
  3. What Energy Codes and Standards Does Your State Use? Presentation, video
  4. Combined presentation, worksheets, and Jeopardy activity


  1. Accessing the Codes: Presentation
  2. Looking up Requirements: Presentation
  3. Energy Code Compliance Paths: Presentation
  4. The Approval and Permit Process: Presentation
  5. Combined presentation, in-class exercise, review worksheet, and Jeopardy activity

Envelope Modules

  1. Introduction to Envelope: Slideshow
  2. Envelope & Energy Code: Slideshow
  3. Air Barriers & Thermal Bridging: Slideshow
  4. Activities: Heat transfer video, combined presentation, review worksheet, and Jeopardy activity


  1. Walls & Openings Fundamentals: Slideshow
  2. Residential Walls & Openings: Slideshow
  3. Commercial Walls & Openings: Slideshow
  4. Activities: Wall framing control layers activity, combined presentation, review worksheet, and Jeopardy activity
  1. Roofs & Ceilings: Slideshow
  2. Residential Roofs & Ceilings: Slideshow
  3. Commercial Roofs & Ceilings: Slideshow
  4. Activities: Roof framing control layers activity, combined presentation, review worksheet, and Jeopardy activity
  1. Foundation & Floors: Slideshow
  2. Insulating Slab on Grade: Slideshow
  3. Insulating Below Grade Walls: Slideshow
  4. Activities: Slab edge control layers activity, combined presentation, review worksheet, and Jeopardy activity

Mechanical and Electrical Modules

  1. Introduction to Mechanical Equipment Sizing: Slideshow
  2. Sizing Residential Equipment: Slideshow
  3. Using Manual J: Slideshow
  4. Using Manual S: Slideshow
  5. Activities: Air conditioning sizing activity, combined presentation, review worksheet, and Jeopardy activity


  1. Ductwork Fundamentals: Slideshow
  2. Friction Loss: Slideshow
  3. Air & Temperature Loss: Slideshow
  4. Residential Duct Pressure Testing: Slideshow
  5. Manual D Duct Sizing Calculation: Slideshow
  6. Activities: Duct design activity, combined presentation, review worksheet, and Jeopardy activity
  1. Basics of Indoor Air Quality: Slideshow
  2. Basics of Building Ventilation: Slideshow
  3. Minimum Ventilation Standards: Slideshow
  4. Energy Code Ventilation Requirements: Slideshow
  5. Activities: Combined presentation, review worksheet, and Jeopardy activity
  1. Fundamentals of Energy Efficient Lighting (Slideshow)
  2. Lighting Power Density (Slideshow)
  3. Lighting Controls (Slideshow)
  4. Activities: Lighting level and Lighting Power Density activities, combined presentation, review worksheet, and Jeopardy activity

Advanced Modules

  1. Definition of Beyond Code: Slideshow
  2. Benefits of Beyond Code: Slideshow
  3. Challenges of Beyond Code: Slideshow
  4. Activities: Beyond code exercise, review worksheet, Jeopardy activity, combined presentation


  1. Defining Net Zero: Slideshow
  2. Reducing Energy Use: Slideshow
  3. Renewables: Slideshow
  4. Net Zero Buildings: Slideshow
  5. Activities: Greenhouse Gas Emissions activity, Review worksheet, Jeopardy activity, combined presentation
  1. Assessing Existing Buildings: Slideshow
  2. Tools for Building Inspections: Slideshow
  3. Addressing Common Building Issues: Slideshow
  4. Energy Code Application to Existing Buildings: Slideshow
  5. Activities: Review worksheet, Jeopardy activity, Comprehension checks, combined presentation

What tools can instructors use?

Access our Modules

Visit our Moodle site where you can register (for free) to access our modules.