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.
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.