Course Syllabus

Course Description:

style 03a (2)

This course provides students with a broad introduction into 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and modeling with a focus on construction- and architecture-specific applications. Students will learn how to use industry-leading CAD software programs (Autodesk AutoCAD and Google SketchUp) to model construction projects, and then create and distribute basic, industry-standard architectural drawings.

Meetings: Tue, Thu 4:00-5:15, Holdsworth 302. This course is offered every semester.
Credits: 3

  • BCT 320 – 01 – BCT students only
  • BCT 320 – 02 – ARCH students only
  • BCT 320 – 03 – General

Students will gain from this course:

  • Understanding of the power and precision of computer-aided modeling and drafting;
  • Ability to construct accurate 2D geometry as well as complex 3D shapes and surface objects;
  • Ability to create 2D representations of 3D objects as plan view, elevations and sections;
  • Ability to assemble these drawings in industry-standard plan form and produce plotted hardcopies ready for distribution;
  • Awareness of architectural drafting with a focus on industry standards.


  1. Intro to CAD, Intro to AutoCAD
  2. Precision Drawing & Drawing Aids
  3. Geometric Shapes
  4. Basic Printing
  5. Editing Tools
  6. Architectural Views & Drafting Views
  7. 3D modeling  with AutoCAD (Surfaces, Solids)
  8. 3D Modeling with SketchUp
  9. Annotating in AutoCAD with Text & Hatching
  10. Layers
  11. Templates & DesignCenter
  12. Advanced plotting (Layouts, Viewports), Office Standards
  13. Dimensioning
  14. Internet and collaboration
  15. Blocks, Drafting symbols, Attributes, Extracting data (as time allows)

Course Components:

  • Class Meetings: Two weekly 1.25 hr. sessions (Tue. & Thu.) are scheduled in the Holdsworth 302 computer room. They provide a hands-on environment for the instructor to introduce core techniques and for the students to practice these in exercises and group work. Attendance and participation is mandatory.
  • Assignments: 8 assignments provide a task-oriented opportunity for students to practice their skills.
  • Midterm and Final Projects: Two larger course projects allow students to practice their skills on a project-oriented task.

Instructor & TA: TBD on Moodle

Faculty Contact: Alexander C. Schreyer
Office: Holdsworth Hall, Room 126
Email: (click on dots to reveal address)
Phone: (413) 545-1976

Suggested Texts:

  • AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT (any recent version): No Experience Required / Donnie Gladfelter / Sybex / ISBN: 978-1-118-57510-9. A free basic quality e-book copy is available online here through the UMass library system. (You may have to log on using your OIT NetID and password.)
  • Architectural Design With SketchUp / 2nd Ed. / Alexander Schreyer / John Wiley & Sons / ISBN: 978-1118978818. A free basic quality e-book copy of the 1st edition is available online here through the UMass library system. You can get a printed copy or an e-book from the links shown here.
  • If you don’t have one yet, get an architect’s scale. You can get one from the textbook store or the university store.

Optional Literature – AutoCAD:

Optional Literature – SketchUp:

Optional Literature – Architectural/Construction Graphics:

Rules, Exams and Grading:

Course pre-requisites: None

Course co-requisites: None

Contact with instructor: Office hours will be announced at the beginning of the term (in class and by posting on the Moodle site). Aside from these times, students can arrange meetings with the instructor via e-mail or simply state the problem in an e-mail (faster response).

Computer skills: Students should be familiar with computers (this is not tied to a particular operating system, but some familiarity with Office-type products would be advantageous – particularly Word, Excel). Students must have internet access to download some course material, communicate via e-mail and access the course website. On-campus computers are available in many locations, among them in Holdsworth, Room 110 or Room 302 (some have a printer available).

Course website: This course’s main communications platform will be its Moodle site. Students will need their OIT NetID and password to access some of the content posted there.

Attendance: Regular class attendance is mandatory and will be recorded. Classes will start on time.

Absences: Whenever possible, unavoidable absences for classes need to be discussed with the instructor prior to the class (in person or send an e-mail). Appropriate documentation will be required. After-the-fact notifications will only be accepted if no possibility of prior submittal existed. If you have to miss an exam, an assignment or project deadline due to a university-accepted reason, contact the instructor before the event (if possible) to arrange for a solution to this problem. Other than for accepted reasons, make-up exams, assignments or projects will not be given.

You are responsible for obtaining missed course material. Only portions of the full lecture content may be available on our course website. If you can, copy someone else’s notes. Contact the instructor only if you are still missing any material after that.

Late hand-in: Due dates will be set at the time of assignment and are published on the question sheet. Assignments and projects must be submitted on time. Late submittal (without prior instructor approval) will incur the following grade adjustments: minus 5% per day (including weekends) until the day, when the solutions are published and the corrected work is returned. After that point, you will receive 0% (an F) for the missed hand-in.

Your course grade will consist of these components:

50% – Assignments (8)
20% – Midterm Project
20% – Final Project
10% – Attendance

The grading scheme will follow this metric:

A ≥ 93.0 % | A− = 90.0-92.9 %
B+ = 87.0-89.9 % | B = 83.0-86.9 % | B− = 80.0-82.9%
C+ = 77.0-79.9 % | C = 73.0-76.9 % | C− = 70.0-72.9 %
D+ = 67.0-69.9 % | D = 60.0-66.9 %
F < 60.0 %

Grievance Procedure: If you feel that an awarded grade is not accurate for whatever reason, you may dispute it by submitting a written explanation together with the marked material to the instructor within two weeks of receiving the marked material.

Special Needs: All reasonable efforts will be made to meet the individual needs of the student. If you have a learning disability or need special accommodation please make an appointment with the instructor to discuss your needs. I also encourage you to contact me if you are an international student (or otherwise new to the English language) in need of help for climbing the “language barrier”.
All discussions will be kept strictly confidential.

Academic Honesty: The University Academic Honesty Policy applies. This policy can be found in the Undergraduate Rights and Responsibilities (at and covers plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, and facilitating dishonesty. Occurrences of any of those practices will be dealt with according to university policy.
Individual and original printouts of assignments and projects are required from each student.

Classroom Behavior: As per building policy, it is not permitted to consume food in the classroom. Smoking is also prohibited. Students are strongly encouraged to turn all cell-phones or other electronic communications devices (e.g. chat software) off during class time. No e-mailing or web-browsing is allowed during class-time.

Any disruptive behavior will be sanctioned appropriately.

No component of the course (printed and online materials, lectures, labs, discussion sessions etc.) may be recorded (audio or visual), broadcast or re-published without the written consent of the instructor.

Course website: