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Light-Frame Structure Technology

Number: BCT 313
Credits: 3
Format: In person

Semester: Fall
Meeting Times: TBD
Room: Olver Design Building 162

Course Link


L. Carl Fiocchi, Ph.D., M.Arch., B.A.

Lecturer & Chief Professional Masters Advisor

Office: Olver Design Building 337
Phone: +1 (413) 545-1866

Office Hours | Faculty Page | LinkedIn

Course Description

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.

Learning Goals

  • Understand the practicality and logic of the traditional sequences involved in Light Frame Construction; while fostering awareness of newer technologies and strategies that might improve the time honored process.
  • Understand the underlying engineering, physics, and/or constructability involved in each of the process.
  • Understanding what impacts that alternative construction practices and material choices have on client economics as well as the global climate.
  • Understand the material options of  the multiple layers that exist in the building envelopes assemblies, roof assemblies, wall assemblies, window assemblies, etc.
  • Gain awareness of the availability of  leading-edge products, technologies, and strategies in addition to conventional ones.
  • Gain awareness of the multiple rating systems available to evaluate buildings,e.g.. Living Building Challenge, PassiveHouse, Energy Stars, HERS, or LEED.
  • Introduction to: Scale Ruler, Sketchup, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel


Allen, Edward; Thallon, Rob; Schreyer, Alexander C., “Fundamentals of Residential Construction, 4th Edition”, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2017. ISBN:1118977998

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