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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BCT Alumnus Profile: Peter Levy (MS ’13 and BS ’10)

BCT Alumnus Profile: Peter Levy (MS ’13 and BS ’10)

After graduating from the BCT undergraduate major, Peter Levy pursued our Professional Master's program in Building Systems and is now a Building Performance Analyst at The Green Engineer. We recently checked in with him and he provided this advice for other students: "I enrolled in the Sustainable Building Systems M.S. program knowing that I wanted a career based around reducing energy use in buildings, but not knowing exactly how, or with what tools I would accomplish this. After taking an Intro to Energy Modeling course, I had a pathway and a set of tools which would direct the rest of my academic studies, and lead directly into a career in sustainable design. During my studies, I took courses in energy modeling, building systems, and lighting design, which prepared me for my current position as a Building Performance Analyst at the Green Engineer in Concord MA. As an analyst, I run whole building energy simulations of large commercial, academic, residential and laboratory buildings...
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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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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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Steve Hoyt gives talk on performance glazing

Steve Hoyt gives talk on performance glazing

Last week, we enjoyed a talk by Steve Hoyt of A.W. Hastings & Co., where he elaborated on options to use performance glazing for building envelope optimization. Flanked by two of our new mockup cutaway models of window installations, he covered basics of light and glazing, window parameters, and presented many installations. Synopsis: This lecture describes how Low E coatings work, both from scientific and applications perspectives. The manufacturing process of applying coatings to glass is shown, and benefits of Low E coatings for energy efficiency are presented. Images: Links: Presentation Slides A.W. Hastings Marvin Windows and Doors ...
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