Energy efficiency matters. As state and federal agencies prioritize energy efficiency, they need leaders who understand how buildings work and how to find ways to make them work better.
Appalachian State University’s Bachelor of Science in Building Sciences degree with a concentration in Sustainable Building Systems develops students’ skills in the analysis, evaluation and advancement of energy efficient design, construction and integrated building systems.
In this program, you will learn that buildings are becoming increasingly complex. As the financial and sustainability benefits of keeping occupants comfortable and healthy are better understood, businesses are investing in skilled professionals who can help them navigate the complexities of advanced building systems to achieve high performance in building comfort, health and energy efficiency. Graduates of this program find jobs in facilities/energy management, construction management, renewable energy, energy analytics, building weatherization/retrofits and building systems design.
This degree is housed in the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment.
Employment: Students typically go right into jobs after graduation. Recent employers include:
- Building Performance Engineering
- Schneider Electric
- Solar City
- Southern Energy Management
- Southface Energy Institute
- Starr Electric Company, Inc.
Graduate School: Those who choose to continue their education often stay at Appalachian State University for the Master of Science degree in Technology.
The Building Sciences degree with a concentration in Sustainable Building Systems requires 87 total semester hours to complete the major: 15 semester hours in foundation coursework, 21 hours in introductory coursework, 30 hours in advanced coursework, and 12 hours in major electives. In addition, 9 semester hours of interdisciplinary coursework and a 6 semester hour professional internship capstone course are required.
A minor is not required. Suggested minors include:
- General Business
- Community and Regional Planning
Engagement Outside the Classroom
American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) - a student organization acting as a cooperative between thousands of students in North America that is committed to providing a forum for ideas and a community of emerging architectural professionals.
Student Builders Association (SBA) - a student club that brings industry speakers to campus, makes connections with employers, visits innovative projects, participates in community service, and works with the High Country Homebuilders Association.
Professional Construction Estimators Association (PCEA) - the flagship student club of the PCEA, where members actively pursue their education and goal of becoming professional estimators.
Appalachian State University Habitat for Humanity - a student service club that assists the Watauga County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity through fundraising, volunteering, and construction workdays at various project sites.
Renewable Energy Initiative - a committee of students, with faculty and staff advisors, that is responsible for allocating money towards the implementation of renewable energy on the Appalachian campus. The committee’s annual operating budget comes from a self-imposed student fee of $5 per student per semester.
Sustainability Council - a university group comprising more than 70 administrators, faculty, staff and students that sets and executes the vision for sustainability on the Appalachian campus.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
Building Science’s faculty-led, short-term study abroad programs and their focus include:
- Austria and Switzerland: Renewable Energy and Architecture
- Nicaragua and Costa Rica: Sustainable Technology
- Peru: Building and Designing for Nature
- South Korea and Taiwan: Sustainable Energy and Architecture
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- This program takes a holistic educational approach toward building science, making students well prepared for a productive career in the field or for advanced study of applied energy engineering.
- Students enjoy many opportunities to gain hands-on experiential and applied interdisciplinary learning in this degree program. Examples: students’ successful competition in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon and the Solar Decathlon Europe, and the IDEXlab where students design, build and perform real projects for real clients with real needs.
- Faculty members’ interdisciplinary expertise assures meaningful research opportunities for students on topics including: high performance construction assemblies, energy efficient building systems, indoor environmental quality (IEQ), design-build and prefabrication, design virtualization and energy modeling, and sustainable design and construction.
- A professional internship is required as a capstone experience, providing students the opportunity to apply their coursework and gain practical experience.
- Special Topics Courses are offered each semester as electives to address current or future issues facing the building industry.
Number of Students
Approximately 40, with a total of 300 in the Building Science program
Method of Delivery
On campus, with select courses offered online
- Construction Manager
- Home Builder
- Industrial Engineer
- Project Manager