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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BCT’s ‘False Color’ Exhibit is Open!

BCT’s ‘False Color’ Exhibit is Open!

From now to October 28th, 2017, UMass students, faculty, and the general public are invited to visit the UMass Design Building Gallery during opening hours (9am - 4pm on weekdays) to view BCT's latest exhibition on all things related to "False Color" visualizations. Showcasing work by our faculty and graduate students, this exhibition visually (and interactively) explores the various technologies of our research: stress analysis, energy analysis, thermography, laser scanning, and more... BCT would like to especially thank Trimble Inc. for their support through our Trimble Technology Lab. We are also tremendously grateful to Peter Chrzanowski, Sharon Mehrman, and Alexander Okscin for their invaluable hands-on help in putting this exhibition together. The following synopsis explains our thoughts on this exhibition: As engineers, scientists and designers we are often faced with data that is not immediately comprehensible in its raw form, consisting solely of numeric values and ranges. Either the volume of such data is too large to lend itself to easy evaluation or it is too limited...
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Can College Kids Help Mass. Towns Go Green?

Can College Kids Help Mass. Towns Go Green?

BCT's extension faculty member Ben Weil and his "Clean Energy Corps" students (from the BCT 597R course) were recently in the news with their efforts to make buildings more sustainable for Massachusetts' municipalities: Let Us Introduce the UMass Clean Energy Corps Ask town officials what they think in Ware. Ask them in Natick, and in Greenfield. Palmer too. These are some of the towns where the new UMass Clean Energy Corps has touched down in the few months since its founding. The Corps is a student-centered initiative focused on helping communities across the Commonwealth develop and meet their clean energy goals. It was created by UMass Clean Energy Extension, a research and outreach program that in its first two years of life has been helping transform communities and businesses into cleaner, more efficient places to live, work, and grow into the future. UMass Clean Energy Extension is a program of UMass Extension (or as it was once known, Cooperative Extension), which, for over a hundred...
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Hoque receives NSF CAREER grant to study urban development impacts

Hoque receives NSF CAREER grant to study urban development impacts

Cities today contribute almost two-thirds of the world’s primary energy demand. By 2030, this fraction is projected to increase to three-quarters, matching the urban sector’s expected share of global energy-related CO2 emissions. The current urban outlook demands a comprehensive understanding of urban sustainability policies to address climate change and energy security. Dr. Simi Hoque, assistant professor in Building and Construction Technology, has been awarded an NSF CAREER grant, valued at over $550.000 to develop an Integrated Urban Metabolism Analytical Tool (IUMAT) to measure, evaluate, and predict the impacts of energy and water use, land use, and transportation systems at an urban scale. This interdisciplinary project will involve a collaborative research coalition comprised of Amherst Town Conservation Department, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland, and faculty from Civil Engineering and Urban Planning at UMass-Amherst. Broadly, IUMAT will be applied to evaluate city sustainability planning scenarios and support outreach STEM activities among middle...
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