Teaching & Academics for Dave Houghton PE
Dave Houghton teaches Civil Infrastructure and Building Systems (CE 475, 4.0 WTU). This course covers mechanical and electrical systems for buildings, with a focus on
- energy use,
- utility interactions,
- zero-net-energy buildings, and
- real-world lessons from three decades of consulting and engineer-of-record experience.
Topics include heating and cooling load reduction, HVAC system types, central plants, basic electrical design and calculations, lighting, and controls.
Students learn to:
- Be able to identify major parts of building mechanical and electrical systems, and understand their function.
- Know how to read utility bills, and compare to national and regional averages.
- Be able to calculate Energy Use Intensity (EUI) and compare to national and regional benchmarks.
- Understand the economics of building construction, operation, and valuation.
- Know the basic principles of passive solar design.
- Be familiar with engineering plans and specifications.
- Be familiar with conventional HVAC systems and their pros and cons.
- Know about alternative and progressive HVAC system concepts.
- Understand the challenges facing mechanical, electrical, and structural engineers.
- Know the basics of building control systems and how they work.
- Have a basic understanding of how electric utilities operate, and their role on both sides of the meter.
- Understand the basics of renewable energy generation, particularly rooftop solar.
- Know about Zero-Net-Energy (ZNE) buildings and how to approach the topic.
- Have been exposed to special types of mechanical systems, such as swimming pools.
- Know the basics of building plumbing systems.
- Understand basic lighting design, and recognize good lighting when you see it.
- Know about building certification systems, including LEED, Living Building Challenge, and others.
- Understand the basics of building codes, energy codes, and compliance paths.
- Know about the wide variety of career possibilities in and around buildings.