The building industry represents one of the largest enterprises in the country. For example, roughly one quarter of the assets of large U.S. corporations are tied up in buildings and land. About one third of all investment in the U.S. is for construction of commercial and residential buildings and more than one third of the total energy consumed in the U.S. is used in the building sector. Many of these problems are being met both in the U.S. and internationally by innovations in building technology. These innovations, for example, apply recent advances in the fields of materials, manufacturing and thermo-fluid sciences to the construction of new buildings, to the retrofit or rehabitation of existing buildings and to the efficient operation of buildings.

The MIT Building Technology Program is an interdisciplinary program jointly sponsored by:

Building Technology includes teaching and applications of the fundamentals of technology as well as research in technology for the next generation of buildings. Areas of focus include building structures, materials, industrialized building systems, energy and lighting in buildings, air quality control, and building simulation. Subjects include fundamentals of technology, applications to buildings, design studios, laboratories, and independent research projects. Research facilities include the Energy Efficient Buildings and Systems Program and the Climate Chamber. Research facilities of other departments such as Mechanical and Civil and Environmental Engineering are also used in joint research projects.

Degree programs in Building Technology


Main Degree Programs

The Building Technology discipline group offers four main programs. For detailed information on each degree, click on the appropriate link:

Advanced Degrees in Related Fields

Students may earn a degree in an engineering or science discipline while performing research under the direction of Building Technology faculty. These students must fulfill the course requirements of their home department. Students from Civil and Mechanical Engineering and from the Technology and Policy Program have participated in Building Technology research projects in this way.

Some students have elected to complete the degree requirements for both the SMBT and a Master of Science in another discipline and have earned two degrees; this requires substantial course work and a thesis acceptable to both disciplines.

Some students wish to combine studies of building technology with training in architectural design. Those students already holding a professional architecture degree may apply to the SMArchS program and specify a concentration in building technology.

Additionally, students seeking a professional architecture degree may apply to the Master of Architecture (MArch) program and focus on building technology via required and elective courses as well as a thesis topic; and students may apply for admission to both the MArch and SMBT Programs. Students admitted to both programs will join each in sequence rather than simultaneously, completing the degree requirements of one before beginning the other; the SMBT and MArch degrees cannot be awarded simultaneously due to the demands of the SMBT thesis research and architectural design studio.