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.

Fall Term

 

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, CPE | 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.

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

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. In the light of the world’s climate change, it is a moral imperative for the architects, engineers, and contractors responsible for our built environment to adopt construction practices that control the energy consumption of buildings while simultaneously maintaining both an aesthetic criteria and the occupants’ health and safety.

This course examines the integrated processes and applications essential for delivering a contemporary light-frame residential dwelling by following the typical construction process from the earliest site decision strategies and preparations through final code inspections and  measurement and verification.

Through instructor presentations, case studies, guest lectures, in class hands on projects;  the course will use as a template the construction of a 2018 code built building in the Northeast United States, but each segment of construction process will expand and investigate opportunities to move beyond code into areas of High-Performance Green Building.

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 – The Business of Building (Construction Management I)

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

This course provides basic business concepts to students interested in design and construction. The content of this course covers key skill set for managing a project, contracts, marketing, scheduling, personnel, leadership, interpersonal communication, human behavior, finance, budgeting, ethical and legal considerations. Associate tools and techniques that could be used for managing a construction and building business will also be covered in this class.

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, Fitch, Kim, Fiocchi | In person | Course Details

Practica are work-related placements. Contact a faculty advisor if you are interested in pursuing this.

1-15 credits can be assigned.

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 494BI – BCT Senior Seminar

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

SPIRE: 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.

SYLLABUS: A senior seminar course for students preparing to enter the building technology and construction sector; project management of construction projects, including: aspects of design, bidding/estimating. Presentation, value engineering, contracts/negotiation, subcontractor relations, cost controls, management during construction, close out, and post-construction requirements. This course also aim to assist and prepare students for job hunting and their future career.

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, Fitch, Kim, Fiocchi | In person | Course Details

Practica are work-related placements. Contact a faculty advisor if you are interested in pursuing this.

1-15 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 (CM II)

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

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 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 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 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 597U – Fundamental Construction Scheduling

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

This class aims to provide students fundamental knowledge for construction planning and scheduling. In the class, students learn to identify work item by using Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), study work logistic sequence, and learn to apply the Critical Path Method (CPM) to construction projects, using precedence diagram networks. To practice the planning and scheduling knowledge, students direct an entire project from planning through scheduling and control, both manually and through software.

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

Prerequisite: 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.

Prerequisite: Tectonics 1 or similar structural experience.