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Energy and Buildings

Number: BCT 520
Credits: 3
Format: In person, Amherst

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

LMS Link


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

SR. Lecturer & Chief Professional Masters Advisor

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

Office Hours | Faculty Page | LinkedIn

Course Description

An introduction to the physical processes lying behind the design of a building’s site, envelope, and interior spaces and as an initiation for a proper integration of technology into architecture as it relates to building energy use. The course focuses on the minimization of energy costs and dependence on non-renewable fossil fuel sources through the implementation of time honored passive design strategies and effective building envelope construction practices. The course also introduces students to the fundamentals of building system loads and building annual energy consumption calculations providing the necessary metricized evaluation of a building’s energy and associated climate impacts in relation to other buildings of similar types and program in similar climates. This course that relies on a combination of lecture, reading materials, and a field trip exploring the methods and materials necessary to reduce a building’s environmental impact. Pre-requisite: BCT 211 or Graduate student status

Learning Goals

  • Understand the non-mechanical systems that can be introduced into buildings to reduce the building’s energy consumption and improve Occupant Comfort.
  • Understand the basic components of a Building Assembly as it relates to Bulk Water Management, Thermal Resistance, Air Movement, and Vapor Movement.
  • Understand the three methods of heat transfer in buildings.
  • Understand the calculations necessary to evaluate above ground air leakage and conductive losses as they relate to heating.
  • Provide a dynamic sampling of the multiple disciplines necessary to create or modify the Built Environment.
  • Provide students with a broadened perspective of new and cutting-edge related relevant research, which will help foster critical thinking and provide a more expansive view of the Built Environment.
  • Gain the knowledge of how to apply the classroom knowledge to a real world building.
  • Gain experience in working in collaborative team environment.
  • Gain additional familiarity with "Construction Language”.
  • Gain experience in written communication skills and protocols.


Lechner, Norbert & Andrasik, Patrica; “Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Strategies towards Net Zero Architecture", 5th Edition”, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2021. ISBN13: 978-1119585749.


BCT-ARCH 520 Syllabus 2022

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