By: Joseph Cacciotti


This semester marks the beginning of the new four-year bachelor of building science program at Algonquin.

“When we plan a building there is a design, but at the end people have to make it work,” said Eric Marois, chair of the school of architecture, civil and building science.

Students will learn a little bit about architecture, engineering, engineering principles and building systems. It is a broad range of study.

“The college has many degrees, it is different in the sense that it is a new area of study,” said Marois.

“It’s one of the only programs of its kind in Ontario.”

Though similar degrees exist in other universities, most are masters and PhDs, and this degree aims to cater to a new field of specialization.

“The industry has a problem right now, and it is that buildings are getting very complex,” said Marois. “The air, the temperature, the humidity; all those systems have to work together. The people that install those systems and control them are not the same. Someone has to think of how we heat that building and in the summer if we have to cool it down. The architects are starting to look at new ways to do this.”

Take the example of the green wall in the ACCE building; it creates humidity, it needs light.

According to Marois it’s a device that creates oxygen and has an effect on the rest of the building as a whole.

“Whoever is the architect has to learn all of this on top of the design, which creates that speciality of the guy on the job that can deal with anybody,” said Marois.

This is what the program teaches graduates the skills to become.

According to Marois students previously could take a bachelor’s degree in architecture or civil engineering followed by a master in building science, and then a PHD.

Though if you go that route you do a lot of research and never go back to the construction site.

“The people on the ground never really get to have you on site. So now they want someone that is going to know all of those systems right off the bat,” said Marois.

There aren’t many students currently enrolled in the program, as the registration began after high school students generally look into post-secondary education.

“We currently have seven students enrolled in the bachelor of building science,” said Maria Parra, program coordinator.

“This year, we will advertise to our graduates from the technician program in architecture and construction engineering. They have the possibility to join the group in year two of the program. This would increase the class for next year.”

This applies not only to current students, but also alumni who have completed a diploma in an architecture-related program and have work experience.

“I would consider using what I have learned towards a bachelor’s degree so long as my three years at Algonquin could compensate for at least two years towards the degree,” said Bryce Infantino, a graduate of the three year architectural technology program. “As far as I am aware there are only schools in B-C and I think NFLD that offer something like this.”

Infantino, having taken three years of architectural studies, would qualify to enter the third year of the bachelor of building science. The content and delivery of the course will not be finalized until next year.

“I am reviewing the material and it’s great stuff. I mean I love buildings and I would take it if I had time,” said Marois. “We are developing the courses and are about a year ahead of the students taking them.”