Faculty in the BCT program currently offer the courses listed below. Follow the “Course Details” link to see syllabi and other information.

Course Overview Schedules

The following are generic overview schedules for all of our courses.

Course List

BCT 150 – The Built Environment

4 Credits | Fall | Prof. Weil | In person | Course Details

This course explores the issues of sustainability from the perspective of the built environment, our history of construction and expansion, and buildings and how they interact with the natural environment. Students will be exposed to issues of human impacts on natural systems through the built environment and the variety of disciplines that are working to create a more sustainable future.

Gen-Ed: I

BCT 192A – Careers in BCT

1 Credits | Fall | Prof. Kim | In person | Course Details

Required for all new majors. This seminar is designed to help freshmen and new transfer students to make a successful start within the Building and Construction Technology (BCT) program. Various resources and opportunities around the major and the university will be reviewed. This seminar also gives students an opportunity to ask lots of questions and will help them integrate into the campus life.

BCT 204 – Construction Materials and Methods

3 Credits | Spring | Prof. Schreyer | In person | Course Details

This course provides an introductory overview of the various materials used in construction (except wood, which is covered in BCT 304). After receiving an introduction into fundamental principles of structural, physical and long-term performance, students learn about material and product manufacturing techniques and how they relate to mechanical and non-mechanical properties of the various materials. Common construction methods are introduced and building details are explored.

Students have the opportunity to experience material capacity and behavior as well as construction methods in demonstrations and lab experiments. Furthermore, material applications and detailing in structural and non-structural building components are explored. Resulting from this course, students will gain a comparative knowledge of material properties and possible applications in construction and architecture.

BCT 211 – Energy Efficient Housing

3 Credits | Fall | Prof. Weil | In person | Course Details

Introduction to energy conservation, as the most cost-effective, environmentally safe method for lowering energy costs and dependence on a finite supply of fossil fuels. Primary discussions involve technical issues, dealing with building methods and materials used to save energy. Political, economical and environmental issues are inextricably connected to conservation, and will factor heavily on classroom dialogue. Lectures will focus on fundamentals of residential energy use involving energy-saving materials and products, energy-efficient design, energy storage, affordable housing, political impact, and regulatory developments.

BCT 304 – Properties of Wood

3 Credits | Fall | Prof. Schreyer | In person | Course Details

Wood is an amazing building material: It is beautiful and warm to the touch. It is easy to machine and abundantly available. It is light, yet strong and stiff. And best of all: It comes from a renewable source. To build with wood, however, requires understanding its peculiarities: the variability of its properties, its interaction with water and the possibility of biodeterioration.

This course introduces students to the physical and mechanical properties of wood. It provides an overview of wood-based products and exposes students to structural systems in wood. Basic techniques for physical measurement and mechanical testing are introduced by conducting and analyzing several laboratory experiments.

Section 01 is for BCT majors only, section 02 is available for any student.

BCT 311 – Sustainable Indoor Environmental Systems

3 Credits | Spring | Prof. Fiocchi | In person | Course Details

Our Built Environment has a substantial impact on energy and material resources as well as being a critical determinant of health, comfort, and productivity for occupants. Additionally, there is the negative carbon impact on our environment; beginning with the embodied energy incorporated into the construction of a building followed by the lifelong accumulation of a building’s operational energy. It is the building’s systems that are the primary contributors to operational energy.

The focus of this course is to understand the fundamental principles behind the sustainable design and regulation of thermal and environmental comfort achieved by the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems (MEP Systems) in our buildings and to understand the relationship to energy conservation, as the most cost-effective, environmentally safe method for lowering energy costs and dependence on a finite supply of fossil fuels.

BCT 313 – Light-Frame Structure Technology

3 Credits | Fall | Prof. Fiocchi | In person | Course Details

Principles of Light-Frame Structure Technology / Tectonics I provides students with an understanding of the construction industry, processes, and building materials used in contemporary residential & light-frame construction. We will review the entire process of residential construction project: from regulation and design through site preparation, project management, and ultimate delivery of a completed structure. Close attention will be paid to the sequence of events as they occur in most construction projects.

Throughout the semester, focus is drawn to both the structural and energy related performance of various building elements, materials, systems, and strategies used to construct enduring and sensible homes. Coursework is tied closely to the arrival of new products, technologies and regulatory issues affecting the construction industry. This course investigates the products, systems and participants that shape the building-materials and construction industry.

BCT 314 – Construction Estimating

3 Credits | Spring | Prof. Kim | In person | Course Details

Any successful building construction project relies on accurate and consistent cost estimates. This course provides students with the skills and background to perform construction estimating, bidding, and cost management. Lectures will cover quantity take-off from residential and commercial construction documents and then estimating costs for material, labor, equipment, overhead, and profit. Students are required to prepare and submit a formal bid which details an estimate for a building construction project. Furthermore, students will also be introduced to leading construction estimating software utilized in the construction industry.

BCT 320 – Introduction to CAD & BIM in Construction and Architecture

3 Credits | Fall, Spring | Prof. Schreyer | In person | Course Details

This course provides students with a broad introduction into Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) with a focus on construction- and architecture-specific applications. By using industry-standard AEC software (such as Autodesk AutoCAD, Trimble SketchUp, and Autodesk Revit) in hands-on exercises, assignments and projects, students gain the capability to model construction projects and create and distribute industry-standard architectural drawings.

BCT 330 – Mechanics of Building Materials for Construction

4 Credits | Spring | Prof. Clouston | In person, Online | Course Details

Introduces students to the mechanical behavior of engineered wood products and wood composites as contemporary structural building mateirals. Basic structural concepts including statics and strength of materials are addressed in a practical, hands-on manner. An overview of the relative merits of common structural wood products is provided. Practical applications of wood-based materials are highlighted throughout the course through in-class examples and illustrations, homework assingments and lab tutorials.

BCT 353 – Business of Building (Construction Project Management)

3 Credits | Fall | Prof. Ewart | In person | Course Details

This course introduces advanced business concepts relevant for managing design and construction projects. Topics covered are: Organization and participants in construction projects, project finance structures, delivery methods, bidding and procurement, construction processes, concurrency of project costs and schedules, project control and risk management, as well as legal, contractual, and ethical aspects of construction. Life-cycle costs, time value of money, and managerial and leadership topics will be discussed, as well as interpersonal communication and professional conduct. Sustainability impacts on construction and decision making will be discussed.

Students will be exposed to a project management software (Procore or ProjectSight), which will be used as a tool for part of this course.

HONORS 391A – Adventures in 3D Printing

1 Credits | Spring | Prof. Schreyer | Currently not offered | Course Details

3D printing is often referred to as the “next industrial revolution”. While the idea of printing your own consumer goods on-demand is certainly exciting, there are many questions that relate to this technology: ownership & copyright, accessibility, technical issues, cost. This seminar will evaluate this technology from the perspectives of students with varied backgrounds. Students also have an opportunity to learn 3D modeling and make their own 3D prints.

BCT 396 – Independent Study, 300 Level

0 Credits | Fall, Spring | Prof. Schreyer, Weil, Clouston, Fitch, Kim, Fiocchi | In person | Course Details

Independent studies are faculty-guided academic projects. They can be initiated either by faculty or a student and can comprise of research or other academic work. Contact a faculty advisor if you are interested in pursuing this.

1-6 credits can be assigned.

BCT 397R – Residential Construction Management Competition

2 Credits | Fall | Prof. Kim | In person | Course Details

The NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) Student Chapters Residential Construction Management Competition (RCMC) is one of the highlights of the annual International Builders’ Show. The competition gives students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom to a real construction company by completing a management project/proposal. Proposals are submitted to a group of construction company executives who act as judges. During the convention, students defend their proposals to the judges in front of an audience

Note: This course can be taken twice for credit without it counting as a re-take.

BCT 398 – Practicum / Internship, 300 Level

0 Credits | Winter, Summer 1, Summer 2 | Prof. Schreyer, Weil, Clouston, Kim, Fiocchi | In person | Course Details

Practica are work-related placements (e.g. internships). Contact a faculty advisor if you are interested in pursuing this. More details can be found here.

1-15 pass/fail credits can be assigned. 

BCT 414 (former 597D) – Sustainable Building & LEED Certification

3 Credits | Spring | Prof. Kim | In person | Course Details

The LEED Professional Credentials indicate professional excellence and a strong depth of knowledge as well as practical understanding of the LEED Rating Systems and how they apply to the high-performance design and construction of the built environment. Preparing to take the LEED Green Associate and AP exams requires more than taking one course; it is a process that involves acquisition of disciplinary knowledge and understanding of complex building and environmental systems. This course introduces core concepts of the USGBC LEED Rating Systems and assists students in study and preparation for the LEED Green Associate exam.

Graduate students: Register for ECO 697DL (see below) instead.

BCT 420 – Designing with 3D CAD & BIM

3 Credits | Spring | Prof. Schreyer | In person | Course Details

Building upon skills acquired in the “Introduction to CAD for Construction and Architecture” course, this course presents advanced topics in architectural CAD software. Centered around problem-based tasks, topics such as parametric building design, building information models (BIMs), material takeoff, energy-efficient planning, visualization and others will be explored. Industry standard CAD tools such as Autodesk Revit, AutoCAD and Google SketchUp will be used to accomplish this.

Student work

Prerequisite: BCT 320 or similar CAD/BIM experience.

BCT 492A – Jobs and Professional Life in BCT

1 Credits | Spring | Prof. Schreyer | In person | Course Details

BCT students approaching graduation learn to prepare for their professional life by editing their resumes, writing cover letters, developing relevant interviewing skills and starting to network effectively with industry leaders. Each week a different business professional meets with students in this class to discuss careers in the industry. Many speakers are also potential employers who are accepting resumes and may conduct interviews.

Can be taken as Junior or Senior in BCT. Co-requisite with BCT 494BI courses (if not taken previously).

BCT 494BI – BCT Senior Seminar

3 Credits | Spring | Prof. Ewart | In person | Course Details

Senior BCT capstone seminar course for students preparing to enter the construction and building technology field. Centers on management of construction projects by integrating core aspects like: design, building systems and structure, sustainability, bidding/estimating, scheduling, BIM, value engineering, contracts/negotiation, subcontractor relations, cost control, management during construction, close out, and post-construction requirements. Students complete a group-based semester-long comprehensive project in this course that responds to an RFP and leads to a presentation of written and oral outcomes in front of a panel of industry jurors.

Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BS-BCT majors.

Co-requisite: BCT 492A - Jobs and Professional Life in BCT (if not previously taken as junior)

BCT 496 – Independent Study, 400 Level

0 Credits | Fall, Spring | Prof. Schreyer, Weil, Clouston, Fitch, Kim, Fiocchi | In person | Course Details

Independent studies are faculty-guided academic projects. They can be initiated either by faculty or a student and can comprise of research or other academic work. Contact a faculty advisor if you are interested in pursuing this.

1-6 credits can be assigned.

BCT 498 – Practicum / Internship, 400 Level

0 Credits | Winter, Summer 1, Summer 2 | Prof. Schreyer, Weil, Clouston, Kim, Fiocchi | In person | Course Details

Practica are work-related placements (e.g. internships). Contact a faculty advisor if you are interested in pursuing this. More details can be found here.

1-15 graded credits can be assigned. 

BCT 511 – Clean Energy Corps

3 Credits | Spring | Prof. Weil | In person | Course Details

Students in the UMass Clean Energy Corps will work in teams with energy engineers and other staff of the UMass Clean Energy Extension to provide energy analysis and high-level energy audits to Massachusetts cities and towns. We will collect and analyze municipal energy data, conduct walk through and instrumented energy audits on site for some facilities, and provide guidance to help municipalities cut their energy consumption by at least 20%. Students will learn a variety of data analysis and building diagnostic techniques as well as gain experience working with municipal clients.

BCT 520 – Energy and Buildings

3 Credits | Fall | Prof. Fiocchi | In person | Course Details

An introduction to the physical processes lying behind the design of a building’s site, envelope, and interior spaces and as an initiation for a proper integration of technology into architecture as it relates to building energy use. The course focuses on the minimization of energy costs and dependence on non-renewable fossil fuel sources through the implementation of time honored passive design strategies and effective building envelope construction practices.

The course also introduces students to the fundamentals of building system loads and building annual energy consumption calculations providing the necessary metricized evaluation of a building’s energy and associated climate impacts in relation to other buildings of similar types and program in similar climates.

This course that relies on a combination of lecture, reading materials, and a field trip exploring the methods and materials necessary to reduce a building’s environmental impact.

BCT 521 – Environmental Control Systems and Lab

4 Credits | Spring | Prof. Fiocchi | In person | Course Details

This course is intended for those who wish to build on building technology and physics fundamentals and learn about active building energy and environmental systems from a both a traditional and a sustainable design perspective. Students will be introduced to the basics of active HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and plumbing systems as well as being exposed to the fundamentals of domestic water supply and distribution as well as wastewater and sewage systems

Through a combination of lecture, reading materials, guest lectures, and field trips they will analyze and calculate elements that control the disposition of energy in buildings and learn how to introduce various systems into existing buildings and design these systems for high performance building.

The lab component for this class introduces students to technical and non-technical aspects of whole building energy simulation during building design, retrofitting and maintenance. Students will learn to use a state-of-the-art building energy modeling tool, eQUEST (available for free from Department of Energy) to calculate and optimize whole building energy loads. The goal is to explore key design decisions such as building orientation and form along with system choices to calculate heating, cooling, and electrical loads through modeling and simulation.

BCT 525 – Solar Energy Systems & Building Design

3 Credits | Fall | Prof. Kim | In person | Course Details

Introduces the fundamental concepts of solar building design and energy systems. Through project-based study and occasional field visits, students will explore the theory, technologies, applications, and benefits of solar design of buildings and discover how to utilize solar energy systems for residential and commercial buildings.

Students will be required to research and document technology and complete a semester case study project in which they will examine various energy conservation aspects and economics underlying solar energy systems.

BCT 540 – Design of Wood Structures

3 Credits | Fall | Prof. Clouston | In person, CPE | Course Details

Provides students with fundamental skills in structural engineering wood design. Focus is placed on the underlying principles behind design procedures for wood members in residential, commercial and industrial applications. Through class examples and assignments, students learn techniques for designing individual wood components including: beams, columns, trusses, wood/steel connections, and diaphragms using lumber and timber as well as engineered wood products.

BCT 550 – Construction Project Management (Construction Scheduling and Project Control)

3 Credits | Fall, Spring | Prof. Mathews | In person | Course Details

This course covers fundamentals of construction project scheduling and control. Topics discussed are: schedule networks, critical path method (CPM), resource allocation, project control, program evaluation and review, cost forecasting, scheduled versus actual job expenditures, schedule risk control. Also covered are integration of project schedule with BIM, cost control, and overall project management.

Students will be exposed to scheduling software (Primavera P6 or MS Project) in hands-on labs.

BCT 590S – Topics in Sustainable Building Systems and Construction Technology

1 Credits | Fall, Spring | Prof. Fiocchi | In person | Course Details

Our Built Environment has a substantial impact on energy and material resources as well as being a critical determinant of health, comfort, and productivity for occupants. Additionally, there is the negative carbon impact on our environment; beginning with the embodied energy incorporated into the construction of a building followed by the lifelong accumulation of a building’s operational energy. In response, there are multiple subsets of disciplines and entities adopting green, sustainable criteria for new construction and renovations.

This course offers students an opportunity to be exposed through lecture and discussion to many of these multiple disciplines. Required Lectures (4) and Elective Lectures (4)  serve as a dynamic sampling of the multiple disciplines necessary to create or modify the Built Environment. Lectures presented by various educators, researchers, and practitioners; experts in their fields will provide students with a broadened perspective, which will help foster critical thinking and provide a more expansive view of the Built Environment.

Note: This course can be taken twice for credit without it counting as a re-take.

BCT 596 – Independent Study, 500 Level

0 Credits | Fall, Spring | Prof. Schreyer, Weil, Clouston, Fitch, Kim, Fiocchi | In person | Course Details

Independent studies are faculty-guided academic projects. They can be initiated either by faculty or a student and can comprise of research or other academic work. Contact a faculty advisor if you are interested in pursuing this.

1-6 credits can be assigned.

BCT 597F – Wood Design Studio

1 Credits | Spring | Prof. Clouston | In person | Course Details

Wood Design Studio empowers students to design, build, and physically test their own ideas to solve construction related building problems. The course follows an inquiry-based learning format where students explore questions, develop and research hypotheses, reflect on their own learning and gain a deeper understanding of course concepts to become better critical thinkers.  Course topics include fundamental engineering concepts such as: composite action, moment connections, joist stress, and compression arches. While learning about exciting and new composite materials (like laminated veneer bamboo and Cross Laminated Timber), this course is a great resume builder and a fun introduction to materials research and technical communication. The intent of the course is to develop learners who will become the next generation of innovators.

BCT 597S – Building a Formalized Plan for your “Green” Positioning

1 Credits | Fall | Prof. Schreyer | Currently not offered | Course Details

This class builds upon the student’s current technical and/or market knowledge of the “green” space by introducing and demonstrating simple concepts in strategic and tactical planning that can transform their concepts and ideas for “green” business initiatives into definitive actions and results. The techniques presented will help the student develop, articulate and execute a “green” strategy and a transition to “green” both internally, through a change in culture, and externally through a change in market positioning. The course would also benefit those who want to learn the basics of formalized planning for any application as a keystone for future career development or for application in a future “green” business transition.

Each student (or group of students) will be asked to identify a “green” initiative where a formalized business plan would help drive successful execution. The deliverable of the course is a written plan framework to achieve the vision for that initiative. The plan will include a Vision, Mission, 3-5 Objectives, Strategies for each Objective, a sample Action Plan and Metrics to measure progress toward results. The student will also learn a simple proven approach to communicating their plan to achieve the stated vision in a team environment.

BCT 597V – Safety in Construction

1 Credits | Spring | Prof. Schreyer | In person | Course Details

With construction being one of the most dangerous occupations, workplace safety is crucial for every successful building project. This course teaches basic safety concepts through guest lectures and the self-guided study of OSHA principles. Students acquire the 10-hour OSHA safety training (and card) as part of this course (at a small, additional cost), which is the basic requirement for any work on construction sites.

ECO 620 – Studies in Building Information Modeling

3 Credits | Spring | Prof. Schreyer | In person | Course Details

This course provides graduate students with an opportunity to deepen their studies in Building Information Modeling (BIM). In addition to learning about concepts from BCT 420 (enhanced 3D modeling skills and an introduction into Autodesk Revit and SketchUp), students in ECO 620 must independently research various BIM-related topics, present and use them. Students are required to complete an in-depth term project in which they explore advanced BIM topics like building energy modeling, estimating and scheduling, parametric modeling and the like.

Student work

Pre-requisite: BCT 320 or similar CAD/BIM experience.

ARCH 653 – Tectonics 3

3 Credits | Fall | Prof. Schreyer | In person | Course Details

This course explores the interrelations between building functions, loads, structural system, materials and construction methods. Topics addressed are structural building layout, design, structural detailing, and documentation of predominantly large-scale buildings and other structures made of steel, concrete, engineered wood and masonry.

Students will be exposed to a wide range of topics centered around structural systems and will be encouraged to develop an integrated approach to planning that considers efficient and appropriate structural solutions. Concept-based design projects and assignments will provide an opportunity to practice this approach.

Emphasis is placed in this course on development of efficient structural form, conceptual and preliminary structural design (using software and approximate calculation methods), integrated design and structural detailing.

This course covers NAAB-requirements for structural systems.

Pre-requisite: Tectonics 2 (or BCT 530/330) or equivalent knowledge of mechanics.