Students studying building engineering begin with common engineering courses such as introductory mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering. Building engineering-specific courses include lectures and practical applications in construction drawing, materials and methods, estimating techniques, building systems, and computer applications.
Field trips and organized hands-on workshops are often offered. These allow students to combine their theoretical knowledge with real-world applications.
Advanced students will often start to specialize in several areas of building engineering: architectural engineering (design services), building science (building construction and testing of building components), and construction operations (property development and project management). Courses include architectural drafting, CAD programming, applied physics and mathematics for buildings, construction and planning regulations, and surveying. Most courses involve the use of computers for simulations, prototyping, and statistical analysis.
Graduate students often specialize in certain areas of building engineering. This includes the indoor environment, where students learn about heating and ventilation, lighting, and acoustics. They can also specialize in building envelopes, where they learn about durability, heat, and moisture transference. Students can also choose to specialize in building structures, where they learn about the behavior of steel, reinforced concrete, and timber. They also learn about the effects of excessive wind and seismic disturbances on buildings.