slideshow01These programs of study lead to a Master of Science (M.S.) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in the Building Systems Concentration in Environmental Conservation (ECo).

This concentration is designed for students who want scientific training in the multi-disciplinary field of building systems. The focus of this concentration is broadly on building systems but encompasses specialized training in fields such as building sustainability, green building, structural timber design, energy systems, material strength modeling, management/marketing of building materials, construction management, and digital design. The diverse nature of the concentration is intended to allow students from different backgrounds to shape their own education under the guidance of a faculty advisory committee.

Faculty affiliated with this concentration (see Areas of Study below) have expertise in environmentally sensitive building materials & systems (building systems and green building), wood engineering, wood-concrete composite systems, innovative connection systems for timber structures, computational modeling of bio-based composites,  energy modeling and systems design, forest products marketing and economics, computer applications in building design, construction management, and structural optimization. A major strength of our program is the unique interdisciplinary tie of both faculty and students to related departments and programs of building on campus. Building systems faculty also serve as core or adjunct faculty in departments like Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and others. We are also co-located with Architecture and Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning in the Design Building. This interdisciplinary culture encourages joint research and funding as well as instruction. Students and faculty with backgrounds in material science, building science, planning, architecture and engineering share research projects, labs and valuable expertise.

Research projects of graduate students in the Building Systems Concentration are varied. Through their research projects, graduate students often employ or provide volunteer opportunities for interested undergraduates. Graduate students are also encouraged to participate in projects and activities of their colleagues to broaden their experience and to provide and receive ideas and suggestions for improvements.

Areas of Study

BCT currently specializes in the following areas of study in our research graduate program. Follow the links below to learn more about the topics and see a list of the respective faculty advisors:

Degree Requirements

M.S. Thesis Degree: Building Systems Concentration in Environmental Conservation

GridshellStudents in this concentration are expected to meet all of the requirements for an M.S. degree in the Department of Environmental Conservation, as outlined in the graduate student handbook, including the following:

  1. A minimum of 35 credits are required, 21 of which must be in the major (defined broadly), 8 of which must be at the 600 level or above, and 12 of which must be a thesis specific to this concentration and approved by the student’s advisory committee;
  2. Successful completion of a comprehensive exam based upon the student’s academic training, as determined by the advisory committee;
  3. Successful final defense of the thesis; and
  4. A minimum of one publishable-quality scientific paper resulting from the thesis research project.

This is explained further on our handy M.S. Requirements Checklist.

Ph.D. Degree: Building Systems Concentration in Environmental Conservation

Solar modelingStudents in this concentration are expected to meet all of the requirements for a Ph.D. degree in the Department of Environmental Conservation, as outlined in the graduate student handbook, including the following:

  1. A minimum of 18 dissertation credits are required, based on a research project specific to this concentration and approved by the student’s advisory committee; no other course credits are required other than those determined by the student’s advisory committee;
  2. Successful completion of a comprehensive exam (written and oral) based upon the student’s academic training, as determined by the advisory committee. The exam will encompass three “core” topic areas (core science, quantitative and physical science, and human dimensions);
  3. Successful final defense of the dissertation; and
  4. A minimum of three publishable‑quality scientific papers resulting from the dissertation research project.

More Information

Admission and Deadlines

Apply by:

February 1st for a Fall Semester start
October 1st for a Spring Semester start

Visit the admissions page for information on the application process. We also have information about financial aid on this site.

Questions?

We are happy to answer any questions. Use our contact form to send us a note.

Building Systems Graduate Concentration Coordinator

Dr. Peggi Clouston, P.Eng.
Associate Professor

R: 316 Design Building
P: +1 (413)  545-1884
E: clouston@umass.edu