Associate degree programs tend to focus on the practical, hands-on skills of troubleshooting and repairing different building systems, such as boiler systems and refrigeration systems. Bachelor's and master's degree programs prepare graduates for careers as engineers, with a focus on designing and implementing building systems.
Common concepts in building engineering courses include:
- Contemporary materials
- Lighting & acoustics
- Architectural graphics
- Sketches & design concepts
- Airflow design
- HVAC industry
List of Common Courses
Building Electrical Systems Course
The course's focus is on designing and incorporating electrical systems into a building structure. Topics include wiring, lighting and communications systems, such as security and fire alarms, intercoms and automated lighting. Some programs offer courses that address individual electrical systems components separately, while others offer instruction in all systems.
Building Energy Systems Course
Students learn to analyze the amount of energy used in a building, along with how to select an energy system to meet the building's needs. They also learn how to factor in building energy codes when choosing a building's energy system. Some programs address thermal and mechanical systems as energy-efficient building options.
Masonry and Concrete Building Techniques Course
This course introduces students to masonry and concrete materials and building techniques. Topics include design of both reinforced and unreinforced structures, measurement and testing methods, material specifications and building codes. Students are also asked to consider the way these structures fit into the overall design of the building.
Wood and Timber Building Techniques Course
Students design and incorporate timber and other wooden building materials into a building structure. Materials include dimension lumber, wooden framework and glued laminated (glulam) beams. Some programs pair wood and steel design and construction techniques in one course, while other programs treat topics separately.
Green Building Engineering Practices Course
In this course, students are introduced to the principles of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) - a green building rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It includes design and construction practices that take into account a building's impact on the environment. Topics include indoor air pollution, energy efficiency, sustainable building materials and waste disposal.