A Message from the BCT Program Director

As we conclude another successful semester in the BCT program, we are very proud to now have close to 200 undergraduate students and 10 graduate students including several PhDs.

This year brought some changes to our program: With Dave Damery retiring (more on that below), I have taken over as program director. We also have a new faculty member, Dr. Ho-Sung Kim (see also below) and we will embark on a search for a replacement for Dave Damery soon.

We are also very excited about a new building that will soon be our home – the “Integrated Design Building”. This state-of-the-art building will encompass many sustainable features (like an engineered wood structure) and will offer us better spaces for teaching, collaboration, labs, shops, and computer facilities. More on this below.

If you haven’t done so yet, I would encourage you to join the new BCT student and alumni LinkedIn group. It is a great way to stay in touch and explore networking and job opportunities. Sign up here.

Of course, you can always follow our news at http://bct.eco.umass.edu. Look also at the end of this email for other options to keep in touch with BCT (e.g. via Facebook)..

Happy Holidays!

People in BCT

Shown below are recent changes in our faculty. To learn more about all of us and to contact us individually, take a look at the Faculty page on our website.

David Damery is Retiring from BCT

After many years at UMass, David Damery, beloved faculty member and until recently Program Director in BCT, is retiring in January 2015. Dave has been an amazing teacher, advisor, mentor and colleague to all of us and we will surely miss him. Most recently, he taught both the introductory and the capstone BCT courses as well as the “Business of Building” course. Rumor has it that his immediate future includes an RV and we are all looking forward to travel reports from the road.

New Faculty Member: Dr. Ho-Sung Kim

This past semester, we have been very fortunate to have Dr. Ho-Sung Kim join the BCT faculty as a new Lecturer. He holds two Master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in both Architecture and Civil Engineering and his research expertise is in optimal design of renewable energy systems for buildings. He will be teaching BCT courses in light-frame technology, estimating, solar design and LEED accreditation for both undergraduate and graduate students. If you visit Holdsworth Hall, don’t forget to welcome Dr. Kim to UMass and BCT!

The Integrated Design Building, BCT’s New Home

For the past two years, BCT has been hard at work helping to plan a new $52M building at UMass Amherst that in 2017 will house the BCT program, the Department of Architecture, and the Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning (LARP) Department. Boston-based Architecture firm Leers Weinzapfel Associates (LWA) is the design firm for this 86,000 sf “Integrated Design Building” (IDB).

Envisioned as a showcase for sustainable building design, the IDB will feature an engineered wood structure, a highly-efficient facade and mechanical system, and a water-friendly landscape with bioswales. It will house classrooms, studios, computer labs, a wood shop, the BCT materials testing and green building labs, offices, administration and a cafe.

Learn more about this exciting project here.

Recent BCT News

These are a sampling of the past year’s news items about BCT faculty and students. You can find more here.

BCT NAHB Student Chapter Wins Award at International Builders’ Show

In January 2014, the UMass chapter of the National Association of Homebuilders travelled to Las Vegas to compete in the Residential Construction Management Competition, a star feature of the International Builders’ Show. This was UMass’ first time ever being represented at the RCMC and it was a great honor to bring home the “Rookie” award.

BCT’s Damery Instrumental in Bringing $6M in Funding to UMass Amherst to Form New Energy Extension Initiative

As announced at the day-long workshop “Helping Communities with Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency”, BCT’s faculty member David Damery was instrumental in bringing this important energy extension initiative to UMass. It will serve as a resource on renewable and clean energy options for cities and towns, industry, hospitals, colleges and universities, nonprofits and other organizations across the Commonwealth.

Weil and Clouston Participate in NSF Grant to Fund Sustainable Agriculture, Clean Energy Partnership with HCC, Hampshire

The National Science Foundation has awarded an $810,000 grant to Holyoke Community College, in partnership with UMass Amherst and Hampshire College, to create collaborative programs combining clean energy studies with sustainable agriculture and share new resources that will benefit students at all three schools. The grant supports a series of joint courses.

Hoque and Weil participate in another successful Eureka! summer

BCT faculty Ben Weil and Simi Hoque participated in this summer’s Project Eureka! a partnership between CNS and Girls, Inc. of Holyoke to provide STEM education to middle and high school girls from underrepresented communities. Dr. Weil taught a workshop on energy conservation in the built environment and Dr. Hoque organized a tour of the zero-energy Mill building in Holyoke and a workshop about passive design.

BCT Research Spotlights

The news items below illustrate some of the current research projects in BCT:

Clouston Co-Authors Book Chapter on Laminated Bio-Based Composites

A recently published book titled “Bio-Based Composites for High-Performance Materials: From Strategy to Industrial Application” (published by CRC press) includes a chapter on “Characterization and Strength Modeling of Laminated Bio-Based Composites”, which was co-authored by BCT-faculty Peggi L. Clouston.




New Publication: “A Framework for Integrated Urban Metabolism Analysis Tool (IUMAT)”

IUMAT (Integrated Urban Metabolism Analysis Tool) is a system-based sustainability analysis tool. It quantifies and aggregates the social, economic and environmental capitals of urban activity in an integrated framework focusing on the metabolic flows of urban development. This paper builds on previous work on urban metabolism and advances an analytical framework that defines how the consumption of resources and resulting environmental impacts are calculated as indices of sustainability in an urban region.

Schreyer’s Favorite Places Open-Source Project Implemented at Smith College

As it turned out, finding the places that really matter to people on a campus wasn’t just for UMass. Smith College now has their own “Favorite Places” app. Implemented by Jon Caris, director of the Spatial Analysis Lab at Smith and based on Alex Schreyer’s work, this web app now allows anyone at Smith to share their experiences on and around their campus on a map interface.

Keep In Touch!

We now have more ways than ever for you to keep in touch with BCT. You can “follow” us, “like” us, or just simply find our news items in your email inbox. Click the links below to get started (use the FeedBurner link for email subscription). Of course, you can also always find us at http://bct.eco.umass.edu.