Texas A&M University

Department of Construction Science

COSC 325: Environmental Control Systems I

Section 501, TTR 0935 - 1055hrs, Langford, Rm C111

Spring, 2005

Instructor: John A. Bryant, Ph.D., P.E.

Office: Langford, Bldg. C, Room 305

Phone: 458-1058

Email: jbryant@esl.tamu.edu

Office hours: 11:00 – 13:30 MW or by appointment at the instructor’s convenience

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Introduce major technologies, Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), and piping systems, that help define the functionality of constructed facilities. Describe system terminology, engineering design characteristics, components, and materials. Stress construction and installation methods and procedures. Discuss contractual relationships and coordination requirements during project execution between owners, design firms, and general as well as specialty contractors.

EXTENDED DESCRIPTION:  Environmental control systems are the basis of building habitability, comfort, complaints, lawsuits, whining, safety, security, lockins, etc. They account for about 25% - 45% of the construction costs, a large portion of a building’s operating costs, and about 95% of the occupant's complaints.  Architects, design engineers, construction engineers, as well as owners' representatives either work with or must coordinate the work of specialists, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing/piping (MEP) contractors. They must all speak the contractors' language and understand the specialty's design and construction methods and requirements. This is particularly important when one has to re-design systems and approve changes made in response to field problems. Operating MEP systems also constitute a large part of the life-cycle cost of a facility. Such systems require replacement usually much sooner than the structure they are a part of and they are expensive to operate. Architects/Engineers/Constructors (AEC) are therefore likely to get involved in related retrofitting work. It also is becoming more common for projects to be delivered via a design-build team, where the best design and construction solutions can be worked out only when all team members understand the constraints faced by others and can effectively communicate their needs.

The course thus focuses on the terminology, engineering design characteristics, components, and materials that are used in commercial and industrial construction. Principles of design are covered in class. Construction and installation methods are discussed in class and re-visited during field trips to project sites and contractors' home offices. Class and field discussions include contractual relationships and coordination requirements between owners, design firms, and general as well as specialty contractors.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Enable students to become familiar with terminology and technical understanding of HVAC systems in buildings and industrial facilities. Help them develop technical background to anticipate and avoid or solve construction problems. Gain better understanding of AEC participants' roles and contribution to successful project completion.

ORGANIZATION: Topics include engineering and construction of HVAC, piping, and integrated building controls from a systems perspective.

TEXTBOOK: Materials will be made available for this class at local copy centers.

ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING: Students will be graded based on class participation, field trip participation, and group projects that may include a report and a presentation. As the semester progresses, I will assign design projects to your group. At least three and maybe more will be assigned. Details for each project will be announced at the time the projects are assigned. Projects are based on requirements for the particular building that is assigned, conducted by students individually or in teams of two or three.  There will also be 2 (two) individual exams scheduled during the semester.

This semester, I am introducing the use of intra-group evaluations for all group related work.  The evaluation instrument will be discussed further in class, but basically, it is a modifier (0 - 1.0) on an individual's grade for any group work for the semester.  For example, if your group found that you were not exactly "pulling your weight" for the group projects and evaluated you accordingly, you might receive a 0.7 out of 1.0 on the intra-group instrument.  Consequently, even if your group had scored 100's on the projects for the semester, your 100 would be modified by the 0.7 factor, resulting in a 70 for your group project grade.  Thus, major grade repercussions for poor team performance.

CLASS NOTESI will be assigning one person (at random) each class period to take notes for the class.  That person will do a complete writeup of the notes for the day (using their favorite Word Processing program) and send those notes to me via email.   Included in these notes will be a recap of the previous day's material and an end of day recap.   I will review the notes and then send them on to the whole class via the NEO email system here at Texas A&M University.  These note-taking assignments result in an on-going outline of information covered in class that, I hope, re-enforces what we talk about in class.  There is a substantial penalty for those who are called on to do notes and have chosen not to be in class that day.

GENERAL NOTES: Things happen.

  1. This syllabus is my best estimate as to the content of the class for the semester. IT WILL CHANGE!! It will change because that is the nature of the material.  If questions are raised concerning a particular subject, it is likely that we will "fall behind" the schedule.  I am more concerned with the quality of what we learn in class than the breadth of what we cover in class.
  2. The percentages for your grade in this class are stated below. I assume you have the math pre-requisite for this class and can calculate your current grades as well as I can. Please Do not expect weekly updates on your grade standing in this course. Every effort will be made to return your work in a timely manner. Homework problems (if assigned) will be assigned and discussed in class, but not always collected (keeps you on your toes). 

University and Departmental Policies: As you may know, the Department of Construction Science has policies in effect concerning attendance, academic honesty (Aggie Honor Code), attire in class, and ethics. Please refer to my web page as well for a copy of these policies.


Course grades will be determined as follows: (and note that the following is not written in blood or etched in stone)

First Design Project      - 26%

Second Project           - 26%

Final Project               - 26%

Exams                        - 22%

Proposed, Tentative, If we can get to it, Schedule of Topics: (Also check TAMU calendar and finals schedules)

I will notify you in class and by email in advance of EXAMS and Dates whenever possible.




Why be concerned with these systems?


Heating and Cooling Loads


- Packaged HVAC equipment

- Form Teams (Groups of 3)


- Assign First Design project

- Equipment Schedules/Submittals


- Duct work/Diffuser and Grilles



Electrical Requirements




Packaged System Design Solution Due


- Air Handling Systems

- Chilled water, Hot water systems


Air Handler System Design Solution Due


- Variable Air Volume (VAV) systems

- Variable Air Volume (VAV) boxes, reheat

- "Exotics" - Chillers, pumps, boilers, etc.


"Exotic" System Design Solution Due


Building Plumbing Systems - Site, Storm, DWV


Building Electrical Systems - Temporary power, Service entrance, Branches

April 5

Last day to Q Drop

May 6

Final exams (see exam schedule link at top)

I look forward to my fifteenth semester with the Department of Construction Science, and working with you in this course.

I assume that you have found this sentence because you have gone through the course syllabus above and have read and understand it.  Please take time, now!, to take a short quiz  HERE to confirm that you have read and understand the syllabus.  Feel free to include any thoughts, concerns, or suggestions concerning the class.  If you do not have an active NEO account, then by all means, get it started now.  Using the NEO system allows me, easily, to email any or all of the students in the class from my office or from elsewhere.  Be sure to include COSC 325-501, in the SUBJECT line of your email.   Don't forget to include your name somewhere too!!  See you in class!