College Catalog

Building Automation Technology (BBT)

(Effective Fall 2009)

The purpose of this major is to offer students with foundational skills in technical areas such as electrical, electronics, and HVAC technology the opportunity to expand their career in building automation and controls technology. 

The major is based on students completion of an Associate of Applied Science degree in an approved technology-related field.  Students have successfully matriculated from the following Penn College degrees:           

  • Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Technology (HV)(HP) 
  • Electrical Technology (EL)
  • Electromechanical Maintenance Technology (MT)
  • Renewable Energy Technologies (RE)
  • Robotics and Automation Emphasis (RO)
  • Mechatronics Technology (MH)

After completing the first four semesters, students may petition to graduate with the appropriate two-year A.A.S degree.  The Bachelor of Science degree in Building Automation Technology will allow students who have acquired appropriate applied technology skills in their first two years to move into advanced course work related to building automation. 

Additional building automation course work emphasizes the application control system design, programming and documentation, building control networks, building commissioning, operation and control of chillers and boilers, and related mechanical and electrical equipment.  Energy management in buildings and interoperable systems are also stressed.  Technical courses include hands-on lab components with work on industry standard and state of the art equipment.  This major requires an industrial internship in building automation. 

Career Opportunities

Building automation applications engineer, programmer, service technician, new construction technician, new contruction sales associate, service-owner sales associate, project engineer, or project manager.  Employment opportunities in building automation technology exist with HVAC controls companies, physical plant departments of college, university, hospital, and government buildings as well as commercial and industrial facilities.

Recommended High School Subjects

High school Algebra I and II are necessary for this major.  Most students will have completed College Algebra I and II prior to entering the BBT major.  Four years of high school English are desirable.  Three science courses, with physics recommended, are suggested for this major. 

Special Admissions Requirements

A.A.S. degree in related major.

Remediation Strategies

All entering students will be tested for English, math, and reading deficiencies. Students are expected to remediate any deficiencies as explained in this catalog (see

Transfer Procedures

Students transferring from other institutions with an A.A.S. in a relevant applied technology field will be evaluated for admission to the Building Automation Technology major based on their degree and appropriate course work in general education areas.  This major is subject to the transfer standards established by the College (see  Exceptions must be approved by the school dean.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:

  • apply safe practices to the installation and troubleshooting of modern building automation systems. 
  • analyze interoperability and energy management as they apply to vertically and horizontally integrated building control systems
  • use general-purpose software and specific building automation software to monitor and control a building HVACR system and building electrical systems
  • explain the function, operating characteristics, and appropriate applications of basic control loops and control modes as found in direct digital, analog electronic, electric and pneumatic commercial control systems.
  • given a sequence of control, lay out a control system logic diagram and program it into a DDC controller.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the commissioning, re-commissioning and retro-commissioning processes and how they apply to different phases of a building's existence.
  • demonstrate functional knowledge of networks, network devices, and network software.
  • enhance industry professionalism skills such as work ethic, communication, time management, problem solving, working on a team, building self-confidence, accept and learn from criticism and flexibility/adaptability
  • install, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair commercial building automation systems



First SemesterCredits
BBTDirected Building Automation Technology Electives 12 
CSC124Information, Technology, and Society 3 
MTH124Technical Algebra and Trigonometry I 3 
MTH180College Algebra and Trigonometry I 3 
Second SemesterCredits
BBTDirected Building Automation Technology Electives 10 
ENL111English Composition I 3 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
Third SemesterCredits
BBTDirected Building Automation Technology Electives 10 
ENL201Technical and Professional Communication 3 
PHS103Physics Survey 3 
PHS114Physics with Technological Applications 4 
Fourth SemesterCredits
BBTDirected Building Automation Technology Electives 10 
HUMHumanities Elective 3 
SSESocial Science Elective 3 
FORForeign Language Elective 3 
ARTArt Elective 3 
AAEApplied Arts Elective 3 
IFEInternational Field Experience Elective 3 
Fifth SemesterCredits
ACR226AC/R Systems and Equipment 3 
PLH226Fundamentals of Heating Systems 3 
ELT239Fundamentals of Electronics for BBT 5 
BBT209Building Automation Industry 3 
MTH182College Algebra and Trigonometry II 3 
SSESocial Science Elective 3 
OEAOpen Elective / Associate 3 
Sixth SemesterCredits
BBT304Direct Digital Control of HVACR Equipment 4 
BBT344Electric, Pneumatic and Electronic Control Systems 4 
SCIScience Elective 3 
CORLiberal Arts Elective 3 
BPTCultural Diversity Elective: Humanities/Social Science/Art/Foreign Language/Applied Arts/Int'l Field Exp 3 
Summer SessionCredits
BBT310Building Automation Industry Internship 1 
Seventh SemesterCredits
BBT406Building Control Networks 3 
BBT414Building Automation Programming 3 
BBT495Senior Seminar-Lecture 1 
SPC101Fundamentals of Speech 3 
ARTArt Elective 3 
HUMHumanities Elective 3 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
Eighth SemesterCredits
BBT412Building Commissioning and Recommissioning 3 
BBT415Integrated Building Operation and Energy Management 3 Writing Enriched Requirement &
Science, Technology and Society Requirement
BBT416Central Mechanical Equipment Control and Building Electrical Systems 4 
BBT496Senior Seminar-Lab 2 
OEAOpen Elective / Associate 3 

Directed Building Automation Technology electives include EET, ELT, ACR, and PLH courses. Major courses other than EET, ELT, ACR, and PLH courses will need adviser approval. HP/HV entering students must take PHS 114 as the science elective in the sixth semester.

Students enrolled in the Building Automation program with an emphasis in HVAC must take BBT 209 and ELT 239 in the fifth semester.

Students enrolled in the Building Automation program with an emphasis in Electrical Technology, Electromechanical Maintenance, or Renewable Energy must take BBT 209, PLH 226, and ACR 226 in the fifth semester.

The fifth semester course work for all transfer students will be determined based on evaluation of previous courses.

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