Course Descriptions

Here are the courses which make up the Building Energy and Resource Management (BERM) program.

BERM 1100: Introduction to Building Energy and Resource Management

An overview of energy management & resource conservation in buildings and on their sites. Reviews current economic, environmental, and social implications of building operations and systems management.

Emphasis is on energy and conservation literacy (understanding of terms and concepts), the evolution of the modern building, market and external forces that impact building energy use, and the increasing need for skilled building managers.

BERM 1110: Building Science - Design and Building Performance

An overview of building design & construction with emphasis on energy efficiency and durability. Reviews current understandings about building envelopes, building assemblies, and interactions with building mechanical systems.

Important concepts, technologies, and strategies of energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality will be explored. The course will underline the importance of understanding building performance expectations.

BERM 1120: Resource Management and Financial Planning

This course will provide an overview various energy management tools, financing of energy management projects, and tracking performance of energy management projects.

Topics will include energy accounting, utility bill analysis, monitoring, targeting, and reporting, financial analysis, measurement and verification, financing energy management projects and developing a business case, and planning energy management projects.

BERM 1130: Building Mechanical Systems

This course will provide an introduction of building mechanical systems, their application, and associated energy saving opportunities. Topics will include building heating and cooling systems, their components, distribution systems, building ventilation systems, auxiliary building system, heat recovery systems, and domestic hot water systems.

BERM 1140: Building Electrical Systems

This course will give the student knowledge of basic electricity units of measure, terms, costs and savings methods. Motors will be reviewed with regard to determining the most efficient motor for specific applications. The motor as part of the system and not the only component will be reviewed.

Lighting will be examined in detail and result in an understanding of how we see, how light is produced, controls for lighting, parameters needed for review of alternatives for efficiency and electrical savings, and upcoming lighting products and technologies.

BERM 1205: Operations Management

This course will provide an overview of various energy components of operations management and how they can identify energy saving opportunities in operations and help manage energy costs.

Topics will include energy management control systems, energy system maintenance, re-commissioning and continuous optimization, and monitoring and reporting.

Prerequisites: BERM 1130 and BERM 1140

BERM 1215: Energy Auditing - Process & Procedure

An introduction to the principles, process and procedures involved in an energy audit. The student will learn the place and the value of an energy audit in the overall Resource Management action Plan.

The student will learn how to define the scope of an audit, analyze the energy use, set objectives for the site tour, determine the Energy Conservation Measures, prioritize the ECM's, and write the report that will become part of the Resource Management Action Plan.

Prerequisites: BERM 1130 and BERM 1140

BERM 1225: Auditing for Other Resources

An in-depth look at management of water resources, materials, and transportation resources as relevant to building and facility management. Reviews the complex interrelationships between supplies, extraction, transportation, end usage, and cycles of resources, including GHG em bodied in construction materials and LCA. Emphasis is on understanding end uses, conservation methods, measuring, auditing, and the importance of resource awareness.

BERM 1235: The Green Building

An in-depth review of sustainable design & green building. Emphasis on green building materials, green purchasing, green professional certifications, and healthy indoor spaces.

Current trends in building innovation and the programs and rating systems that support these trends are examined.  The student will come away with an understanding of why building green is an essential strategy for sustainable development. Students will learn how to collaborate in the successful operation and maintenance of a green building.

BERM 1245: Completing the Resource Management Plan

Emphasis will be on covering the various aspects of energy management programs and planning that fall outside more traditional areas: communication skills and writing success stories; policy writing; developing RFP's; Change Management; managing contracts and outsourcing; environmental regulations and barriers to energy management plans.

This course will also bring earlier courses together to help the energy and resource manager develop usable take-away management plans for energy and resource conservation, auditing, and operations.


The practicum portion of this program will be completed during the last few weeks of BERM 1245. Students will apply the skills they learned during classroom study in a two-week placement with a company in the industry, completing an energy/resource assessment project as part of their BERM 1245 course grade. The goal is that after completion of BERM 1245, students will complete the program and join the workforce.

More About Course Descriptions