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Building and Construction Technology

Contact: Alexander Schreyer, Program Director richm03_as_sm.jpg
Office: Room 125, Holdsworth Hall
Phone: (413) 545-1976
Email: schreyer@umass.edu

Website: http://bct.eco.umass.edu

About BCT

Building construction is responsible for roughly 7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product in the United States each year. In many ways, the state of the national economy hinges on the strength of building construction and home improvement industries. Success of these critical industries relies on the leadership provided by a highly sophisticated and skilled work force. Graduates of the Building and Construction Technology program help provide the required leadership and vision through their understanding of this technically competitive field. The study of science, technology, business, and design serve as the base for expertise developed in this program of study. Building and Construction Technology professionals are multifaceted.

Graduates are involved in virtually every area of building technology, wood science, corporate management, and product distribution, with responsibilities ranging from research and development to the distribution and installation of finished goods. They ensure that the materials selected and used are best suited to the needs of each project in terms of safety, efficiency, and cost effectiveness. It is the experience of integrating scientific and technical understanding with general business acumen that makes graduates of the Building and Construction Technology program uniquely desirable to hiring corporations.

News from this program: Student surveys rank us second on campus in student satisfaction!

Building and Construction Technology is not limited to wood products; however, the program does provide specific expertise in forest products research. The research program focuses on the structural and physical performance of engineered wood products, wood-based composites, and wood-frame building systems. Researchers also investigate issues relating to forest products marketing, economic development, and the efficient use of resources.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Building and Construction Technology Program (BCT) have risen to the highest professional levels in the building construction industry. Specific occupations cover a broad range of professional careers. They work as building contractors, design professionals, retail and wholesale business managers, sales associates, researchers, marketing professionals, technical representatives, purchasing agents, and construction managers for the most successful corporations in the nation. Salaries compare favorably with other scientific and business professions. Opportunities for advancement are excellent. The employment demand for women and men in this broad field far exceeds the number of graduates.

For internships, jobs, and career opportunities, go to the following link:
For Current Students – Career Opportunities

The Major

img_2573_sm.jpgIn addition to university General Education requirements, the curriculum in the Building Construction Technology major builds upon a foundation of introductory mathematics, chemistry, physics, and computer literacy. Department courses cover a background in natural resources plus fundamental courses in building materials technology, energy conservation, computer-aided design, structural design, business and construction management, and building product technology. The remainder of each student’s program includes electives in areas such as engineering or business according to the individual’s career objectives and chosen curriculum option. Students frequently continue to advanced study at the master’s or doctoral level, but most graduates accept employment immediately. The functioning student organization is the University of Massachusetts Student Chapter of the the National Association of Home Builders. Building and Construction Technology program mission, goals, and objectives: When students graduate from UMass Amherst with a bachelor’s degree in Building and Construction Technology they will be able to:

  • Specify materials, methods, and building/structural systems common to residential and commercial construction projects.
  • Evaluate and specify building energy systems and materials with respect to their ecological impact and their contribution to sustainable design.
  • Understand physical, mechanical and environmental attributes of wood construction.
  • Analyze, estimate and communicate building project requirements using a thorough knowledge of blueprint specifications, contractual documents, CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and BIM (Building Information Modeling).
  • Apply a breadth of management skills and an understanding of key business aspects of design, construction and materials supply industries.
  • Contribute responsibly to a sustainable built environment.

Curriculum In addition to the University General Education requirements, the Building and Construction Technology major requires completion of the following:

  • BCT 150 The Built Environment or NRC 100 Environment and Society
  • COMPSCI 105 Computer Literacy
  • MATH course with R2 designation
  • PHYSICS 131 Introductory Physics
  • Two additional PS courses (e.g. PHYSICS 118)
  • RES-ECON 102 Introduction to Resource Economics or ECON 103 Introduction to Microeconomics
  • ECON 104 Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • MARKETNG 301 Fundamentals of Marketing or ACCTG 221 Introduction to Accounting
  • NATSCI 397A Junior Writing Course
  • NRC 492A Verbal Communication Skills or any COMM course
  • BCT 204 Construction Methods and Materials
  • BCT 211 Energy Efficient Housing
  • BCT 304 Properties of Wood
  • BCT 311 Sustainable Indoor Environmental Systems
  • BCT 313 Light-Frame Structure Technology
  • BCT 314 Architectural Blueprint Reading and Estimating
  • BCT 320 Introduction to CAD in Construction and Architecture
  • BCT 353 The Business of Building
  • BCT 494BI Senior Integrative Experience
  • BCT 530 Mechanics of Building Materials for Construction
  • BCT 420 Advanced Topics in CAD or BCT 540 Design of Wood Structures or BCT 597G Energy and Buildings or BCT 597P Project Management for Design and Construction

BCT Sample Curriculum Schedule

You can view the most recent list on the BCT website:

The Minor

To successfully complete a minor in Building and Construction Technology, a student must earn a minimum of 15 credits, selecting a minimum of five BCT courses in the three academic areas listed as follows: Two courses are required from Materials and Methods, and one each from Professional and Management Systems and Information Technology, with one additional course from any of the three areas. Unless noted, courses listed below are three-credit courses. For admission to the Building and Construction Technology Minor, a student must be in good academic standing with the university. No requirements for the minor may be taken Pass/Fail. All courses applied toward the minor must be taken on a graded basis and all courses used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Materials and Methods (minimum 6 cr)

Professional and Management Systems (minimum 3 cr)

Building Technology (minimum 3 cr)

Fore more information, visit the BCT website: http://bct.eco.umass.edu

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Updated: July 7, 2014