Building construction is responsible for roughly 7% of the Gross Domestic Product in the United States each year. In many ways, the state of our national economy hinges on the strength of the building construction and home improvement industries. Success of these critical industries relies on the leadership provided by a highly sophisticated and skilled work force. Graduates of the Building and Construction Technology program provide the required skills, leadership and vision through their understanding of this technical and competitive field. The study of science, technology, business, and design guided by the principles of resource efficiency and environmental sensitivity serve as the base for solid expertise developed in this program of study.
Building and Construction Technology professionals are multifaceted. Graduates of BCT are involved in virtually every aspect of the built environment: construction management, sustainable building planning, engineered wood design, building energy performance evaluation, building products distribution, and research and development. They assure the materials and systems used in our buildings are best suited to the needs of each project in terms of safety, efficiency, sustainability, and cost effectiveness. It is the integration of technical understanding with general business acumen that makes graduates of the Building and Construction Technology program uniquely desirable to employers. Seniors in our program often have multiple job offers and their salaries have often proven to be higher than in many other professional fields.
Upon graduation from BCT:
- 94% of graduates had full-time employment
- 88% of graduates had a starting salary of $40,000-$60,000
(Source: 2013 Graduating BCT Senior Survey)
Our national reputation is built on excellent academic offerings. Building and Construction Technology students enjoy an applied, project-based learning environment while receiving a strong technical and scientific foundation for their future career. Our curriculum combines courses in the areas of building systems, materials performance, business management, marketing, digital tools, as well as written and oral communications.
Complementing our undergraduate program is an advanced research and graduate-study program in a variety of related fields such as building systems, bio-based building materials science, advanced wood structures, building energy consumption, and impact of the built environment on climate change – all centering around the topic of sustainability. This establishes BCT as a leader in scientific discovery for the built environment.
Building and Construction Technology provides a 4-year Bachelor of Science undergraduate education that focuses on the following learning objectives:
- Apply a breadth of management and communication skills and demonstrate an understanding of key business aspects of design, construction and materials supply industries.
- Specify materials, methods, and building/structural systems common to residential and commercial construction projects.
- Evaluate and specify building energy systems and materials with respect to their ecological impact and their contribution to sustainable design.
- Understand physical, mechanical and environmental attributes of wood construction.
- Analyze, estimate and communicate building project requirements using a thorough knowledge of blueprint specifications, contractual documents, CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and BIM (Building Information Modeling).
- Contribute responsibly to a sustainable built environment.
BCT is a STEM Designated Degree Program (CIP code 04.0902).
In addition, we offer a 15-credit Minor in BCT to non-majors.
Through the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Building and Construction Technology program offers graduate programs in the “Building Systems” concentration at both the M.S. and Ph.D. levels.
The degrees provide students with a strong foundation in three core topic areas:
- Core science (environmental building systems, biology, ecology and conservation)
- Quantitative science (GIS/BIM, building design, statistics, modeling)
- Human dimensions (resource values, policies, programs and economics)
The M.S. thesis degree is intended to prepare students for the option of pursuing a Ph.D. and an eventual career in science and academia. The M.S. professional degree is meant to be a terminal degree for students seeking graduate-level training in a particular field of study and a career as a professional scientist.
Overall, the academic requirements of this concentration in combination with research/practicum experience provide students the necessary training for sustainable building positions within academia, non-governmental organizations, and private industry (e.g. environmental design consulting firms).
Faculty in Building and Construction Technology perform a valuable research function with particular emphasis on:
- Advanced bio-based building products and material science
- Wood-based composite building products (properties and manufacturing)
- Energy performance of buildings and related assessment methods
- Building materials and natural resources economics and marketing
- Digital building planning, data analytics, and visualization
We often collaborate with UMass and outside faculty in Environmental Conservation, Engineering, Computer Science, Polymer Science, Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning and various other related fields.
Our government- or contract-funded research projects often provide opportunities for undergraduate students to experience this exciting field through hands-on research projects and work-study placements.
The Building and Construction Technology program provides services to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the nation, and our professional disciplines. Faculty members provide public service and leadership through participation in a wide range of professional committees, governmental agencies, editorial boards, national panels, and advisory boards. The Building and Construction Technology program also performs both outreach and contracted work for public and private clients. Examples of services include:
- Symposia, workshops, and educational short courses
- Technical consultation and training
- Product and material research
- Market studies
Building and Construction Technology is affiliated with the following associations:
UMass Amherst Reviews
Top 50 Green Colleges
#1 Best Campus Food
Top Public Schools
Best Global Universities
Top 100 World Universities
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