Concordia University

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Building Engineering

What is Building Engineering?

Building Engineers are concerned with the planning, design, construction, operation, renovation, and maintenance of buildings, as well as with their impacts on the surrounding environment. Building Engineering, commonly known in the US as Architectural Engineering, is an interdisciplinary program that integrates pertinent knowledge from different disciplines:


Building Engineering
  • Civil engineering for building structures and foundation;
  • Mechanical engineering for Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning system (HVAC), and for mechanical service systems;
  • Electrical engineering for power distribution, control, and electrical systems;
  • Physics for building science, lighting and acoustics.
  • Chemistry and biology for indoor air quality;
  • Architecture for form, function, building codes and specifications;
  • Economics for project planning and scheduling.

The building engineer explores all phases of the life cycle of a building and develops an appreciation of the building as an advanced technological system. Problems are identified and appropriate solutions found to improve the performance of the building in areas such as:

  • Energy efficiency, passive solar engineering, lighting and acoustics;
  • Indoor air quality;
  • Construction management
  • HVAC and control systems
  • Advanced building materials, building envelope
  • Earthquake resistance, wind effects on buildings, computer-aided design.

Building Engineering

Why choose Building Engineering?

Construction is a major industry in Canada, an important contributor to the economy amounting to 6% of Canada's GDP. According to Statistics Canada, over 7% of employed Canadians worked in the construction industry in 2010, an increase of 50.8% since 2000, when 806,900 people worked in construction.

While there are many universities that offer Building/Architectural Engineering programs, Concordia's Building Engineering Program remains unique in Canada. The program is designed to meet the needs of the construction industry by providing engineers familiar with the overall design of built facilities as covered in the following areas.


Building Indoor Environment

Building Indoor Environment covers the environmental aspects in the design, analysis and operation of energy-efficient, healthy and comfortable buildings. Fields of specialization include: thermal comfort, air quality, lighting, acoustics, HVAC and control systems.

Building Science

Building Science focuses on the analysis and control of the physical phenomena affecting the performance of building materials and building enclosure systems.

Construction Management 

Construction Management includes construction techniques, construction processes, planning, scheduling; project tracking and control, labor and industrial relations, and legal issues in construction.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency is also an application area which draws from the building science and building environment areas. It includes analysis, design, and control of energy-efficient buildings and HVAC systems, solar energy utilization and intelligent buildings.

Building Envelope

Building Envelope is an application area which draws from all areas of building engineering, especially building science and indoor environment. It focuses on the analysis and design of building envelopes, including durability, heat and moisture transfer and interaction with the indoor environment.

Building Structure 

Building Structure area concerns with the principles of structural mechanics, material Behavior and their applications to the analysis and design of steel, reinforced concrete and timber building structures. Fields of specialization include: wind and seismic effects on buildings.

Computer Aided Engineering

Computer Aided Engineering is an exciting area in Engineering. Even though computers have become ubiquitous in the architecture-engineering-construction industry, their present use is mostly limited to drafting, analysis, member sizing, cost estimation, and construction management. Computers have tremendous untapped potentials in the field of Building Engineering.


Career opportunities in Building Engineering

The building engineer has a wide spectrum of knowledge about building systems and their individual components, and understands the building itself as a large integrated system. The building engineer may work as a consulting engineer, design engineer, project manager, construction manager, cost engineer, facility manager, conservation-utility director, HVAC engineer and operation manager, or a process engineer among other career possibilities.

As a graduate of the building engineering program, you will be qualified for positions at companies specializing in the design, analysis, operation, construction, and management of a wide range of residential, commercial, and industrial building projects. Our graduates can be found at numerous companies and organizations in Montreal and elsewhere, including:

Public Works Canada Racan Industries Concordia Physical plant
Natural Resources Canada (CANMET) GES Technologies INPSEC-SOL
Honeywell Keen Engineering Siemens
Dessau-Soprin Kolostat Morrison Hershfield
Patenaude Trempe Halsall SNC-Lavalin
Peter Kiewit Sons Co. Tardif Murray & Associates Hatch & Associates
EllisDon Corporation Revay & Associates  
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