The Building Construction curriculum focuses on the business and process of making buildings and is designed to better equip construction industry professionals with the necessary tools for excellence in all phases of the built environment. The building construction degree incorporates business, management, science and efficiency at all levels; from planning, finance, design, estimating, procurement, and scheduling. The curriculum additionally includes integrative elements of leadership, non-technical, social, and presentation skills, entrepreneurship, and best principles.
The Building Construction program develops within the student a solid foundation in construction knowledge.
The Building Construction major is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education. Upon successful completion of the four-year program of 131 credit hours of study, a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction is awarded.
The graduation requirements in effect during the academic year of admission to Virginia Tech apply. When choosing the degree requirements information, always choose the year you started at Virginia Tech. Requirements for graduation are referred to via university publications as "Checksheets." The number of credit hours required for degree completion varies among curricula. Students must satisfactorily complete all requirements and university obligations for degree completion. The university reserves the right to modify requirements in a degree program.
Please visit the University Registrar's website at https://www.registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/checksheets.html for degree requirements.
Head: G. Reichard
Professors: A. P. McCoy, G. Reichard, and W.Y. Thabet
Associate Professors: T. Bulbul, T. H. Mills, and A.R. Pearce
Assistant Professors: P. Agee, N. Roofigari-Esfahan, X. Gau, A. Shojaei, and R. Zhang
Assistant Professor of Practice: J. Bluey, A. Graff, and L. Lally
Exploration of career options within the built environment and construction industry. Professional development, digital literacy, which will include creation of media and “personal brand” identity. Exploration of ideas from multiple viewpoints and perspectives. Oral, written, and visual presentation of ideas such as resume development. Introduction to ethical considerations. Reflection on “Self-as-Learner.” Critical-Thinking skills as they apply to construction projects. Development of group roles as they apply to construction projects. Identification of universities resources, policies, procedures, academic and social engagement opportunities.
Introduction to construction with an overview of construction drawings and specifications, construction terminology, building codes and building systems, cost estimating and bidding, construction management processes, construction documents, load paths and foundations, construction health and safety, and hands-on experiential learning through lab exercises. Strategic career success factors and introduction to ethical decisions in construction management.
Overview of the important areas of contracting and the workings of the construction industry. Application of construction management theory, processes, and terminology including, definable building systems, building code interpretations, the reading and preparing of basic construction drawings and integrating construction details and project specifications to derive safe construction means and methods, equipment section, cost estimates and time schedules.
Fundamentals of the construction technology and process emphasizing project management/operations, materials and methods. Utilization of industry-specific technology/software applications, techniques and sequences/project loading for the construction of buildings in compliance with Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Divisions 00-05, 31, 32, 33. Planning, scheduling, materials cost analysis, job-appropriate equipment and labor requirements, masonry applications, concrete and formwork. Site preparation and utilization, use of construction industry-specific software, interpretation of project drawing documents. Integration of project safety and health issues. Quantity surveying for the management of construction resources, according to current principles and industry standards.
Continuation of the fundamentals of construction technology and process emphasizing materials, methods, techniques and sequences for the construction of buildings using Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Divisions 01, 06-14, 21. Interpretation of construction details relevant to a construction project. Cost impact of building codes and inspections. Development of presentation skills using project-based learning. Planning, scheduling, labor needs, and quantity surveying for the management of construction resources. Development of safety and quality assurance plans, including building systems for fire suppression.
Introduction to the theory and applications of building materials. Properties, composition, and characteristics of building materials with particular focus on ferrous and non ferrous metals, concrete, bricks and blocks, timber, glass and plastics. Emphasis on physical behavior of materials under load, including thermal loads, compatibility deformations and material behavior requirements, interaction among different materials, non- destructive/destructive methods for evaluation and testing of construction materials, basic analysis and design applications of major structural components.
Application of construction means, materials and methods related to quantity take-off, cost management, scheduling, resource management, document drawing, building information modeling in support of a selected project. Project cost impact of building code requirements. Emphasis on structural components of selected project.
Exploration of current and relevant topics of inquiry within the construction domain, through engagement, service, and research. Articulates the complex interactions of stakeholders in construction by means of reflection on case studies, panel discussions, and seminars to establish the context, breadth, and impact that construction education shares within larger academic, professional, and societal communities. Can be repeated for a maximum of 3 credit hours.
Introduction to leadership behavior styles and their impact on construction management team performance, including analysis of how ethical behavior and individual strengths support positive relationship-building. Development of management strategies to maximize positive conflict outcomes through trust-building between construction project stakeholders. Identification of the role that implicit bias plays in decision-making within diverse project teams. Development of presentation skills for a construction audience.
Building delivery and project management improvements through the use of information technology (IT) are explored, including scheduling software, building information modeling (BIM) tools, and virtual design and construction (VDC) simulation software and their corresponding theories and concepts that integrate design and construction. Use BIM/VDC tools for graphical presentations, databases, and spreadsheets.
Identification and use of various types and sources of construction market data and the tools for analyzing construction data to support managerial decision making. Different forms of applying mathematics to the construction market for better productivity and processes across the construction industry. Develop insights to inform management and investment decisions. Use of cost-benefit analysis as applied to construction management in determining feasibility of projects.
Overview of fundamental principles explaining why structures remain stable under various loading conditions. Explores different types of structures and applied loads and analyzes both determinate and indeterminately supported structures. Calculation of shear, bending moments, deflections in beams, and buckling. Discussion of ethical impacts on user safety and hazard avoidance, in project design and construction methods, materials, etc. Explores different types of soil composition and their strength properties.
Identify and evaluate conventional construction materials, methods, building systems, and products to less-familiar, innovative technological alternatives for a specific residential construction project. Compare innovative technological alternatives with material and cost estimates. Overview of conventional materials, equipment, designs, and processes in residential construction. Investigate recent literature on emerging technologies to determine best practices. Strengthen understanding of the primary building systems in residential construction applications.
Theory and analysis methods relative to performance of envelope systems and the design and integration of mechanical and electrical building systems. Topics covered include: envelope systems and performance metrics, conceptual and technical design theory, operational principles, and maintenance issues, all necessary for determining the selection of passive and active environmental control systems within a building including: envelope system, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, and acoustical systems.
Application of construction means, materials and methods as they relate to quantity take-off, cost management, scheduling and resource management, document drawing, building information modeling in support of a selected project. Emphasis on building systems components of selected project.
Emphasis is placed on the integration and physical installation of passive and active environmental control systems including: heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, acoustics, plumbing, and fundamentals of thermal loads.
Introduction to temporary structure systems used to support construction operations. Concrete formwork, scaffolding systems, excavation shoring systems, dewatering techniques, and hoisting operations. Assessment of systems, cost, quality, safety, sustainability, and schedule impacts.
Study abroad in Spain.
Interpretation of plans and specifications, preparation of construction estimates, and cost control. Methods analysis, resource requirements, and resource costs in building systems, including system components, and in large-scale civil engineering works such as highways, bridges, and hydraulic structures.
Application of construction means, materials and methods as they relate to quantity take-off, cost management, scheduling and resource management, document drawing, building information modeling in support of a selected project. Emphasis on administrative/general contractor functions (such as project safety, budget development, and permitting) of the selected project.
Introduction to means and methods to enrich the geometric information of a building model with semantic data such as, material, structural and performance values. Concept of interoperability in architecture, engineering and construction industry. Overview of approaches to information modeling such as Standard for the Exchange of Product model data (STEP), Industry Foundation Classes (ifc), Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie) and Green Building XML (gbXML). Key concepts of object-oriented modeling and programming.
Explore and experiment with construction from the perspective of digital information, computer numerical control (CNC), and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) processes. Tools like 3D scanners, 3D printers, CNC manufacturing techniques and others will be used in a lab setting intended to provide familiarity with these technologies and a sense of their benefits and limitations.
The course deals with the planning and design of construction processes. Course topics include production systems, behavior of construction systems and workers, the relationships between subsystems in the construction process, queuing systems, process modeling and simulation. The major emphasis is on production and productivity. Production problems that typically occur in construction systems are discussed. The course also explores recent innovations in construction system design such as lean construction and agile construction.
Practical construction management methods within the built environment. Construction materials, document drawings, management activities, fundamentals of construction scheduling and planning. Quality, quantity, and cost of materials necessary to complete a construction project. Construction information technology tools. Partially duplicates BC 2014 and 2114. Pre: Junior Standing.
Fundamentals of building performance mandates for the built environment. Practical means and methods for evaluating building performance metrics within integrated design including acoustic performance, visual performance, and indoor air quality and management. Specific focus on energy resources consumed by thermal, hygrothermal, lighting, and other environmental building systems. Assessment of building energy consumption and analysis of retrofit scenarios through performance evaluation over the entire building life cycle.
Mechanisms of historical and current innovations in the residential construction industry. Theory and application within the realms of innovation, diffusion, technology, adoption, new product development, housing innovation literature, supply chain management, sustainability, information technology, commercialization, and housing policy. Innovation theories and applications to residential construction through the analysis and utilization of data-driven hypotheses typical to the industry.
Introduction to means and methods for managing the sustainability of buildings and their performance over the life cycle. Best practices for sustainable projects in the areas of planning/development, site design, project management, energy and water conservation and green building assessment tools and methods; Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system; economic analysis of green building alternatives; and implementation planning.
BIM (Building Information Modeling) concepts and tools that are critical for facility operation and maintenance. Identifying, capturing, analyzing, exporting and exchanging facility lifecycle data. Spreadsheet-based and BIM based facility management platforms. Case studies and real-life application for understanding mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems from an owner or facility manager perspective. Workflow processes for data exchange.
Application of means, methods, and strategies for delivering single and multi-family residential housing in urban and suburban contexts. Project planning, including market analysis to determine highest and best use of an identified property, marketing and sales strategies, site and product design and procurement, infrastructure requirements, zoning and government agency regulations, financial analysis and feasibility study, financing strategies, and delivery control systems. Roles of developer and project team in preparing formal proposals for a housing development to be submitted for financing. Identification and application of interfaces with project stakeholders. Overview of contemporary topics such as green development and affordable housing.
Business and construction practices related to operation of a construction company are studied. Construction operation is examined as it relates construction, financial and personnel management. Project management topics studied in this course include permitting, site evaluations, design development and design phase considerations such as preliminary estimates and project constructability. Writing Intensive (WI) course.
This course explores and applies the business and construction practices related to operation of a construction company to a capstone experience. Construction operation is examined as it relates to construction, financial and personnel management. Project management topics studied in this course are applied in the corequisite lab. This course is formally designated as a writing intensive course. Formal written and edited and oral presentations are presented and critiqued by the BC faculty team, the writing resource center, students and industry professionals.