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Construction Materials and Methods


Construction Materials and Methods

Number: BCT 204
Credits: 3
Format: In person, Amherst

Semester: Spring
Meeting Times: Tue/Thu 2:30-3:45
Room: Olver Design Building 162

LMS Link


Alexander Schreyer,
M.A.Sc., Dipl.-Ing.

Senior Lecturer and BCT Program Director

Office: Olver Design Building 318
Phone: +1 (413) 545-1976

Office Hours | Faculty Page | LinkedIn

Course Description

This course provides an introductory overview of the various materials used in construction (except wood, which is covered in BCT 304). After receiving an introduction into fundamental principles of structural, physical and long-term performance, students learn about material and product manufacturing techniques and how they relate to mechanical and non-mechanical properties of the various materials. Common construction methods are introduced and building details are explored.

Students have the opportunity to experience material capacity and behavior as well as construction methods in demonstrations and lab experiments. Furthermore, material applications and detailing in structural and non-structural building components are explored. Resulting from this course, students will gain a comparative knowledge of material properties and possible applications in construction and architecture.

Learning Goals

  • Comparative knowledge of material properties (physical, structural, durability) for most common and advanced building materials
  • Understanding of typical and potential applications of common building materials
  • Understanding of common construction systems and methods
  • Understanding of relationship between material properties and structural form
  • Ability to identify crucial problem areas in manufacture and applications of building materials
  • Awareness of importance of experimental verification of material properties
  • Introduction to Trimble SketchUp


  • Allen, Iano, “Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods, 6th Edition“, 6th Edition. Wiley, 2013. ISBN: 978-1118138915
  • If you buy a used book that doesn’t come with access to the IRC (Interactive Resource Center), then you need to purchase access for $25 here: http://goo.gl/AxXN3x

A reference copy of the textbook will be available in the UMass Library.

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