BCT Students Start Construction on the “Hygge House” Design-Build Project

BCT Students Start Construction on the “Hygge House” Design-Build Project

The Hygge House1 is a portable, 350 sq. ft, Net Zero, Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) designed and built by students in a collaborative effort between UMass Building & Construction Technology, UMass Architecture, Five College Architectural Studies, & East Branch Studio. The semester-long design-build course that encapsulates this project is led by L. Carl Fiocchi (BCT), Robert Williams (Architecture), Naomi Darling (Five Colleges) and Kent Hicks (East Branch Studio). It offers learning opportunities in high performance construction, construction practices, low load mechanical systems selection and installation, performance verification, and carbon accounting. The project as well as the course helps students understand the climate impacts of carbon in the built environment and explores ways to design and build better structures, as the inefficiency of buildings is responsible for approximately forty percent of global carbon emissions. After the Build is completed, students will have the opportunity for teaching about the building when the Hygge House is used as an Auxiliary Stage at the Green...
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UMass Student AGC Group Wins Outstanding Emerging Chapter Award

UMass Student AGC Group Wins Outstanding Emerging Chapter Award

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) national organization has announced that the AGC Student Chapter at UMass Amherst has earned the Outstanding Emerging Student Chapter Award. The judges for the 2021 AGC Outstanding Student Chapter Contest said they were impressed with the obstacles the UMass chapter overcame, as well as the growth documented in its application. The UMass Student AGC Chapter flourished this year under the leadership of its president, undergraduate Nathaniel Wright of the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department, and its faculty co-advisors, CEE professor Scott A. Civjan and BCT professor Fernando Romero. This team initiated a full schedule of events for both the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, despite being remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The chapter hosted two virtual construction site tours, OSHA-10 Training for 47 student participants, multiple guest lectures, and multiple chapter meetings. The chapter also developed a club website containing event information, blog posts, resources, and event summaries. Beyond that, the officers overcame the fact that none of them...
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Creating a Bridge to the Future with BCT and Digital Ready

Creating a Bridge to the Future with BCT and Digital Ready

On December 1, 2021 BCT faculty and students hosted Digital Ready (DR), a Boston-based non-profit that provides talented, young Black and Latinx students from Boston Public Schools a no-cost, head-start to a STEM degree from UMass. The DR cohort of 27 students participated in a unique peer-to-peer learning exchange program developed by CSN faculty Dr. Paul J. Wolff III and students in the new communication course required for all BCT majors (Communicating Building Science and Sustainability). The Immersion Event featured live presentations, hands-on demonstrations, building/lab tours and one-on-one time with current BCT students. The event began with ice-breaker activities and was followed by a series of presentations featuring coursework, extra-curricular activities, internships and a Q&A discussion about what it is like to live, learn and work at the UMass Amherst campus. The Immersion Event culminated with lunch at the award-winning UMass Dining Halls for all participants. The Digital Ready Cohort enjoyed live skits, informational giveaways and interactive presentations of student work such...
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Student Team Places Third in ASC Region 1 Competition

Student Team Places Third in ASC Region 1 Competition

BCT participated in the 2021 Annual Associated Schools of Construction Region 1 Student Competition in Albany, NY with three teams this November. Under Prof. Romero's mentoring and with several months of hard work behind them, Team "Amherst Construction" (shown in the image above) placed third in the pre-construction category. This was only the second year in which our students competed in this competition. We congratulate the team members for this superb effort! The team consisted of: Olivia Josias (Project Manager), Patrick Koenen (Superintendent), Emma Kelly (Senior Estimator), Jocey Krooks (Risk Manager), Eric Lee (Senior Scheduler), Michael Ayles (Safety & Quality Manager). Links: ASC Region 1 website Pictures from the competition ...
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The Sustainability Road Less Traveled: BCT’s Applied Learning Pathways Lead to Jobs

The Sustainability Road Less Traveled: BCT’s Applied Learning Pathways Lead to Jobs

During the last year, 10 pioneering UMass students took the road less traveled – pursuing the BCT (Building Construction Technology) Applied Learning Pathways, a new option for students to ‘study abroad’ at the Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst in Newton, Massachusetts. Students worked one-on-one with a faculty sponsor to create a customized, hands-on learning experience based on their interests in sustainability. These one-of-a kind pathways built the students’ confidence and portfolios (i.e. GIS mapping, augmented/virtual experiments, original research, multi-media videos, 3D models) as they collectively pursued more than 30 academic credits toward the completion of their degrees. “As a master’s degree student at UMass, I wanted my learning to be meaningful and to have an impact,” said Abigail Moore, B.S. ’19, M.S, ’21. “The Independent Study project I designed with my professor focused on the idea of ‘Living Buildings;’ structures that generate more than they consume – and I was able to focus on understanding how these buildings can work with...
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