Overview

Welcome to the Building Technology (BT) Program at MIT! We are a group of students, faculty and staff working on design concepts and technologies to create buildings that contribute to a more humane and environmentally responsible built world. Our work ranges from fundamental discovery to full scale application. Strategies employed toward these ends include integrated architectural design strategies, resource accounting through material flow analysis and life cycle assessment, structural design and optimization, building and urban energy modeling and simulation, human comfort analysis, control design and engineering, and other technologically-informed design methods. Students interested in any of these strategies will be challenged to address topics of clear and important relevance to the future of the built environment through creative and analytically rigorous approaches.

Research areas supervised by the faculty address innovative materials and assemblies, emerging and nontraditional building materials, low-energy and passive building energy strategies; innovative analysis and modeling of historic structures; performance-driven computational design approaches; and various issues of energy and material resources at the urban scale, including urban environmental sensing, the urban heat island effect, and urban metabolism. Students entering into the program are able to engage with active and ongoing research projects while pursuing their own intellectual and career agendas. These projects change regularly and individual faculty and research lab pages are the best resources for finding current research position opportunities.

Degree programs in Building Technology

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Main Degree Programs

We welcome applications from individuals with a diversity of cultural and educational backgrounds who share our passion for making buildings worldwide healthier and more comfortable to live in, more resource-efficient, and affordable for all. We especially welcome applications from prospective graduate students who come from underrepresented backgrounds, races, and genders. Typically, our BT graduate students have previous degrees in architecture, structural engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science/engineering, or related fields. We work hard to ensure that all of our admitted students receive substantial financial support towards their tuition and living expenses through a mix of research and teaching assistantships as well as scholarships. We are committed to fostering a supportive, positive, equitable, and anti-racist learning environment and research community for all students. If you feel that you belong to our community, contact a potential faculty advisor. Students are admitted into one out of four degree 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.

Please go to the Building Technology Group's list of Dissertations and Theses to see the work done at the culmination of the degree programs.