Successful completion of the Building Engineering program leads to a Bachelor of Engineering in Building Engineering. The program is designed to take four years to complete. However, many students take a bit longer than four years to graduate as they prefer to take a lighter course load to allow time for part-work, extra-curricular activities, or simply to reduce the workload. The courses that building engineering students are required to take fall into three main categories: engineering core, building engineering core, and technical electives.
The engineering core includes courses that are taken by all undergraduate engineering students. Expect to see courses on topics such as calculus (and lots of it), probability and statistics, numerical methods, statics, dynamics, thermodynamics, mechanics of materials, fluid mechanics, basic electrical engineering, technical writing, economics, and the professional responsibilities of an engineer.
While some of these topics may seem irrelevant to a first-year student (we’ve all been there), they serve as the foundation for more advanced courses. Not getting a solid grip on the basic principles is a common mistake that can cause major problems down the road.
The building engineering core makes up the bulk of the program. This is where the fun starts, as the topics that are covered in class are directly relevant to the field of building engineering. Some of the courses are shared with civil engineering students, while some are unique to the building engineering program.
The courses shared with civil engineering students cover topics such as programming, surveying, structural analysis, concrete and steel design, soil mechanics, construction engineering, and engineering materials. Courses attended only by building engineering students include topics on drawing, systems modeling, building science, acoustics, lighting, thermal analysis, service systems, building envelope design, HVAC system design, and the impact of building engineering on society and architecture.
The technical electives, like the building engineering core, are either unique to building engineering or shared with civil engineering. Students are required to take a minimum of three technical electives, which can be chosen from topics such as lighting, acoustics, structural analysis, structural design, project management, air quality, fire and smoke control, construction processes, labour and industry relations, and legal issues. Note that some of these courses may not be offered every year, despite being listed in the Undergraduate Calendar.
In their final year, all engineering students have a chance to apply what they have learned in “490”, AKA the Capstone Design Project (or “Capstone” for short) . Each program has a unique course code for the Capstone Design Project; for building engineering the course code is BLDG 490. The project takes the form of a four-credit course spanning two semesters (usually Fall and Winter) and includes a long-term group project that often puts newly-formed friendships to the test – so choose your teammates wisely!
Students are also required to take a general education elective which must be chosen from a list. Special permission may be requested from Student Academic Services (SAS) to take a course not on the list. (Go to SAS in EV Building and ask them nicely for the form you need to submit).