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Development Of An Interdisciplinary Hvac Course

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.160.1 - 1.160.6



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Paper Authors

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William J. Hutzel

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John R. Koontz

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2633

Development of an Interdisciplinary HVAC Course

William J. Hutzel, John R. Koontz Purdue University


The Building Construction and Contracting (BC) and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) Departments at Purdue University are developing innovative programs that target two rapidly expanding areas of specialization. Mechanical Contractors specify and install equipment for both commercial and residential spaces, while Maintenance Engineers operate and service the equipment on a daily basis. As part of the developmental effofi an existing HVAC course has been re-structured to focus on the unique technical requirements of these closely related careers. This cooperation takes advantage of the individual strengths of the BC and MET Departments and is provided as a working model for other institutions that may want to establish similar programs.


The demand for new buildings, both commercial and residential, was vigorous during the 1980’s and remains strong today. This high level of construction activity has created a strong demand for qualified Mechanical Contractors who specify and install plumbing, electrical, and climate control equipment for indoor spaces. Once construction is complete, Maintenance Engineers operate and service the equipment on a daily basis. When the accumulation of buildings over the last 20 years is considered, it is not surprising that the job market for Maintenance Engineers is particularly robust. In fact, the OffIce of Manpower Studies in the School of Technology at Purdue University projects that Maintenance Engineering will be one of the fastest 2 growing technical careers over the next 10 years.

Mechanical Contracting and Maintenance Engineering may have been performed by skilled trades people in the past, but there are new and important trends that have greatly increased the scope and complexity of these tasks. Energy efficiency and environmental awareness are critically important and have strongly influenced how buildings are constructed and maintained. For example, computer-controlled “smart buildings” integrate communications, security, environmental control, and fire suppression into a single user- -friendly package. One key feature is the ability to continuously monitor all mechanical systems for substantial savings of energy and money. This increased complexity has produced a need for undergraduates who have specific knowledge of mechanical equipment. The School of Technology at Purdue University has two options for students pursuing these challenging and exciting career opportunities.

The Building Construction and Contracting (BC) program has a Mechanical Construction Management (MCM) specialization option that provides expertise in mechanical construction management

{bxi~ 1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings ‘J3J3/

Hutzel, W. J., & Koontz, J. R. (1996, June), Development Of An Interdisciplinary Hvac Course Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--5987

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