← Return to course list


Energy Efficient Housing

Number: BCT 211
Credits: 3
Format: In person, Amherst

Semester: Fall
Meeting Times: Tue/Thu 2:30 - 3:45
Room: See Spire

LMS Link


Benjamin Weil,
Ph.D., M.A., B.A.

Extension Assistant Professor, Extension Program in Building Energy

Office: Olver Design Building 321
Phone: +1 (413) 545-1820

Office Hours | Faculty Page | LinkedIn

Course Description

Introduction to energy conservation, as the most cost-effective, environmentally safe method for lowering energy costs and dependence on a finite supply of fossil fuels. Primary discussions involve technical issues, dealing with building methods and materials used to save energy. Political, economical and environmental issues are inextricably connected to conservation, and will factor heavily on classroom dialogue. Lectures will focus on fundamentals of residential energy use involving energy-saving materials and products, energy-efficient design, energy storage, affordable housing, political impact, and regulatory developments.

Learning Goals

  • Understanding of the basics of energy and power concepts, units, transformations, and measurement.
  • Understanding of heat transfer and basic thermodynamics.
  • Awareness of passive cooling and heating strategies.  
  • Ability to calculate heating and cooling loads
  • Ability to build simplified building energy models.
  • Understanding of buildings as systems.
  • Knowledge of lighting technologies and measurement.
  • Understanding of the impact of lighting design on energy use.
  • Ability to analyze energy bills for benchmarking and diagnostic purposes.
  • Understanding of the scale, sources, and solutions to excessive plug loads and phantom loads.
  • Knowledge of vernacular and traditional architectural responses to climate responsive design.
  • Knowledge of insulation materials
  • Knowledge of vapor control layers
  • Knowledge of air barriers
  • Knowledge of bulk water management for buildings
  • Understanding of basic psychrometrics.
  • Understanding of heating and cooling equipment.
  • Introduction to spreadsheets, HEED, climate consultant, presentation software, thermographic cameras, kill-a-watt meters, noncontact thermometers, duct blaster, manomoter, black globe thermometer, sling psychrometer, light meter, data logging sensors, flow meter.


None required

← Return to course list