BCT Alumnus Profile: Katherine McCusker (MS ’12)

BCT Alumnus Profile: Katherine McCusker (MS ’12)

Katherine McCusker turned her passion for green building into a career after she pursued our Professional Master's program in Building Systems. Katherine works now for Integrated Eco Strategy in North Adams, MA. We recently checked in with her and she provided this advice for other students: "As a BCT grad student at UMass, I worked in the Facilities Department as Green Building Intern. I got to see how campus staff were planning for and implementing green building principles on campus. My thesis work looked at how buildings on campus compared, from an energy consumption perspective -- benchmarking the EUIs. I now work for a firm in North Adams called Integrated Eco Strategy. We are green building consultants who have found a niche in the world of Living Building Challenge (LBC) projects, specifically helping project teams with the Materials Petal of the program. We've worked on a few local LBC projects: the Kern Center at Hampshire College, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment...
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Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts Creates Endowment for BCT Program at UMass

Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts Creates Endowment for BCT Program at UMass

May 18, 2018 AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a $100,000 gift from the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts (AGC MA) of Wellesley, Massachusetts. The gift, also made possible through the Construction Industry Association of Western Massachusetts in Springfield, will provide support for the building and construction technology (BCT) program and its students. The BCT program is part of the department of environmental conservation in the College of Natural Sciences. AGC MA is the state’s leading commercial construction association. The gift represents the second endowment dedicated to supporting UMass Amherst’s BCT program. In addition to providing financial support for BCT’s programs, the gift will make it possible for four students a year to receive scholarships. The BCT program prepares students for careers in construction management, sustainable building systems, and building materials technology. BCT offers undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as continuing education programs. The program is located in the new John W. Olver Design Building, a distinctive architectural...
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Mockups Help Students Understand Building Technologies

Mockups Help Students Understand Building Technologies

June 25, 2018 Inside the John W. Olver Design Building–itself a teaching tool for builders and architects–the Building and Construction Technology program (BCT) has built eight movable, full-scale mockups of building assemblies to help students see how modern building components go together in the real world. At home in front of a class or wheeled into public view in the Olver atrium, the mockups display the complexity of roofs, walls, windows and floors, and the intricacies, sequences and attachment methods the multiple layers of these assemblies require. Current building technology, whether commercial or residential, has grown more complex under the demands of climate change and energy costs, and it is critical to understand how each component of a building’s “envelope” responds to the physics of heat, liquid water, water vapor and air. The mockups reveal each layer in cutaway with adjacent QR codes to supply more detailed information. The mockups were built by BCT lecturer L. Carl Fiocchi in collaboration with student Alexander Okscin,...
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Congratulations to BCT’s class of 2018!

Congratulations to BCT’s class of 2018!

Congratulations to our graduating students in BCT's class of 2018! We are tremendously proud of you and we wish you all the best for your upcoming professional life. As in years past, we couldn’t only take a serious photo, of course… Please note: These group shots were taken at the CNS celebration and unfortunately not all of the graduating students made it onto the picture. We also had several graduate students completing their Master’s degrees. The image below shows Katie O'Connor who completed her professional Master's degree. For more images, don’t forget to also check out our pictures from all of the commencement events on the BCT Facebook page. We also keep an archive of the graduating class pictures here....
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Polymer Science’s Al Crosby gives talk about pressure-sensitive tapes

Polymer Science’s Al Crosby gives talk about pressure-sensitive tapes

For the last talk of our BCT Spring 2018 lecture series, Prof. Al Crosby from Polymer Science at UMass Amherst spoke about the many uses of adhesion in construction and the principles behind them. He especially focused on tapes and the mechanics of their pressure-sensitive adhesive behavior. Synopsis: Adhesives are used widely in building construction and are prone to play an increasingly important role in future construction processes and structures as new materials and new standards are established. In this presentation, I will provide a brief review of the basic structure and properties of pressure sensitive adhesives, as well as an introduction to the Geckskin™ technology, which can sustain large forces, permit easy release, and be reused without loss in performance. Links: Presentation Slides Crosby Research Group ...
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