BCT Courses Offered

Faculty in the BCT program currently offer the courses listed below. Where applicable, syllabi and website links have been added.

Course Overview Schedules:

These are generic overview schedules for all of our courses.

Undergraduate Course List:

All courses below are three credit courses unless mentioned otherwise.


BCT 150 – The Built Environment

Fall – Prof. Damery – On Moodle – Syllabus

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.


BCT 204 – Construction Materials and Methods

Spring – Prof. Schreyer – WebsiteSyllabus

This course provides an introductory overview of the various construction materials used in common (and uncommon) structures. 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 nonmechanical properties of the various materials. Students have the opportunity to experience material capacity and behavior in demonstrations and lab experiments. Furthermore, material applications and detailing in structural and non-structural building components are explored. Resulting from this course, students gain a comparative knowledge of material properties and possible applications in construction and architecture.


BCT 211 – Energy Efficient Housing

Fall – Prof. Weil - On Moodle – Syllabus

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

Fall – Prof. Schreyer – WebsiteSyllabus

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.


BCT 311- Indoor Environmental Systems for Buildings (2 credits)

Spring – Prof. Hoque - On Moodle 

Our built environment accounts for approximately 40% of all energy consumed in the United States. Reducing the operational loads and integrating high performance energy systems into our buildings will provide solutions towards achieving a sustainable and secure energy future. Energy efficiency and load management are the first steps in setting the stage for this sustainable future. The focus of this course is to understand the fundamental principles behind the design and regulation of thermal comfort, mechanical, plumbing, and lighting systems in residential and light commercial buildings. This is a project-based course. There are no tests. We will introduce principles and concepts related to a variety of topics and present problems that you will discuss and solve individually or in groups.


BCT 313 – Principles of Light-Frame Structure Technology

Fall – Prof. Kim - On Moodle – Syllabus

Provides an understanding of the use of building materials in contemporary light-frame construction applications. Close attention paid to the sequence of events that occur on most construction sites. Review of the entire residential construction process, site preparation through roof shingling. Leading-edge products and technologies and analyzed and compared to conventional ones. Course work is tied closely to the arrival of new products, technologies, and political issues affecting the construction industry.


BCT 314 – Architectural Blueprint Reading and Estimating (2 credits)

Spring – Prof. Kim – On Moodle

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 for Construction and Architecture

Fall/Spring – Staff (faculty contact: Prof. Schreyer) – Website – Syllabus

This course provides students with a broad introduction into Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) with a focus on construction- and architecture-specific applications. By using popular CAD software (such as Autodesk AutoCAD as well as Google SkecthUp) in hands-on exercises, assignments and projects, students gain the capability to use CAD to model construction projects and create and distribute industry-standard architectural drawings.


BCT 353 – The Business of Building

Spring – Prof. Damery  – Syllabus

Introduces business concepts to students interested in design and fabrication of structures. Managing a project, contracts, marketing scheduling, personnel, leadership, interpersonal communication, human behavior, finance, budgeting, ethical and legal considerations.


BCT 397B – Wood Design Studio

Alternate years – Prof. Clouston  -  Elective

Wood Design Studio provides an opportunity for students to actively participate in the creation of a small pedestrian timber bridge or other wood structure. While working together as a team, the class designs, builds and nondestructively test a wood structure.


BCT 420 – Advanced Topics in CAD & BIM

Spring – Prof. Schreyer – WebsiteSyllabus

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.

Pre-requisite: BCT 320 or similar CAD experience


BCT 494BI – Senior Integrative Experience

Spring – Prof. Damery –  Syllabus

Students learn to write cover letters, create resumes, develop relevant interviewing skills and meet industry leaders. Each week a different business professional meets with students in this class to discuss careers in the industry. Often, the speakers are potential employers who are accepting resumes. Some speakers will schedule interviews for internships and full-time job placement.


BCT 520 – Energy and Buildings

Fall – Prof. Hoque - On Moodle 

An introduction to building energy use by focusing on how to minimize energy costs and dependence on non-renewable fuel sources. This is a seminar course that will rely on a combination of lecture and reading materials to discuss methods and materials to save energy. Broader impacts of the political, economical and environmental issues related to energy conservation will be emphasized. Students will gain experience using a simple energy modeling tool, Vasari.

Pre-requisite: Undergraduate students who have taken BCT 211 and/or BCT 311 are eligible to enroll. Open to all graduate students.


BCT 530 – Mechanics of Building Materials for Construction

Spring – Prof. Clouston – Website

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 540 – Design of Wood Structures

Fall – Prof. Clouston – Website

Provides students with a fundamental understanding of structural engineering wood design principles. Focus is placed on design procedures – as well as underlying assumptions therefor – for wood members in residential, commercial and industrial applications. Through class examples and assignments, students will learn design techniques for individual wood components including: beams, columns, trusses, wood/steel connections, and diaphragms using both conventional lumber products and state-of-the-art engineered wood products.

Pre-requisite: BCT 530


BCT 550 – Project Management for Design and Construction

Spring – C. Novelli

This class introduces the fundamental concepts of project management for sustainable design and construction and is suitable for students in various disciplines, particularly architecture, engineering, construction, information technology and management.   Topics to be discussed include project initiation, integrative planning, implementation, monitoring, control and closeout; effective goal setting, documentation, scope/quality, budget and schedule definition; team organization, contracts and negotiation, risk management, legal, environmental and other issues throughout the project life cycle.


BCT 597B – BioBased Building

Alternate years – Prof. Clouston 

Students will invent, design, build and structurally test their own laminated and/or cast composites made from natural materials.  Classes will entail some instruction (around 4 or 5 lectures) but will depend largely on student participation: making and breaking specimens and reviewing, discussing and presenting class topics. Grades will be based largely on participation as well as a poster and technical report to be submitted at the end. While learning about exciting and new natural 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.


BCT 597D – Sustainable Building & LEED Certification

Spring – Prof. Kim

This blended course will provide a hands-on, multi-media learning environment for students to expand their knowledge of sustainability in the built world. All students will participate online; attendance of face-to-face field trips to National Grid Headquarters and Artist for Humanity, and lectures from specialists in the field are optional; those students who opt not to attend the face-to-face meetings will view video recordings of the field trips and the guest lectures. A LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) preparation component is woven into the structure of the course to answer an industry need for LEED accredited professionals in the fields of construction, engineering, and architectural design.


BCT 597S – Building a Formalized Plan for your “Green” Positioning (1 credit)

Spring – B. Bean

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 597SD – Solar Energy Systems & Building Design

Fall – Prof. Kim

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 597E (BCT 521) – Environmental Control Systems and Lab

Spring – Prof. Hoque – Website

This course is intended those who want to learn about building energy and environmental systems from a sustainable design perspective. Students will be introduced to the basics of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems. Through a series of individual and group investigations, they will analyze the heating and cooling loads of commercial buildings and learn how to design high performance building. Students will also gain expertise modeling system design loads for low to mid-rise residential buildings using ASHRAE standards.

There is a lab component for this class. The lab 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 DoE) to calculate and optimize whole building energy loads. The goal is to explore key design decisions such as building orientation and form and to calculate heating and cooling loads through modeling and simulation.

You must have access to a laptop for the lab.

Pre-requisites: BCT 520 (Energy and Buildings) for graduate students. BCT 2/311 (Indoor Environmental Systems) for undergraduate students or instructor permission.


Graduate Course List:

All courses below are three credit courses unless mentioned otherwise.


ARCH 653 – Tectonics 3

Fall – Prof. Schreyer – Website – Syllabus

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.


ECO 697SB – Studies in Building Information Modeling

Spring – Prof. Schreyer – Website – Syllabus

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), students in ECO 697SB must independently research various BIM-related topics, present and implement them. Students are required to complete an in-depth final project in which they explore advanced BIM topics like building energy modeling, estimating and scheduling, parametric modeling and the like.

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Last updated: October 15, 2014