Building Systems - Design & Construction Certificate

About the Design & Construction Certificate

The Design and Construction Certificate courses can be used to expand your knowledge in specific construction skill areas. They will focus on design principles, system integration, code compliance, construction law, and construction coordination.

These classes will be offered via live video instruction giving you the convenience of joining class from home or work while engaging with the instructor and other students.

The program is composed of four courses required to earn the non-credit certificate.

Career Potential

As the construction industry grows, so does demand for knowledge of building systems. Employers are looking for Maintenance Technicians, Construction and Project Managers who understand the design aspects needed for plumbing, preventative maintenance, HVAC, wiring, pipe systems and so on.
Source:  Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight™ Real-time Labor Market Information tool. 

Meet the Instructors

  • Francis K. Rapisarda earned his architecture degree from Drexel University and has returned to Drexel as an adjunct professor teaching similar courses. He has held multiple positions throughout his career in the Philadelphia region including Director of Architecture, Construction and Project Manager.
  • Jerry Pisarcik (Construction Law) received a Juris Doctor degree from The Dickinson School of Law after graduating from Penn State University with a Master of Science degree in Architectural Engineering.  Jerry has concentrated his practice exclusively in the areas of construction contract counseling and litigation for over 30 years.

Course Offerings

Introduction to Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Protection Systems - AE 5558

This course introduces the principles of the building systems with the intent to provide the construction/project managers with the knowledge to identify, integrate, and coordinate with project engineers and consultants. The building systems to be covered include, but are not limited to the following:

  • HVAC Systems (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and the impact on design solution
  • Indoor Air Quality; impact from products and their application
  • Electrical Systems/Energy Controls, code requirements
  • Communication and Data Systems
  • Plumbing Systems, and code requirements
  • Fire Protection Systems, code requirements

The course is lecture based and includes class discussions and workbook assignments. The course also reviews the construction document components to each of the building systems.

Dates: TBD
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Delivery: Live instruction via Zoom Classroom
Cost: $525

Contact 570-963-2600 or email scra[email protected] for more information and discount codes.


Construction Law – CE 6298

This course includes an overview of how the legal system works, including mediation, arbitration and litigation. Emphasis is on contracts, principles of contract interpretation and contract-related issues such as payment, change orders, differing site conditions, delays and disruptions, and warranty of the plans and specifications. An anatomy of an actual construction lawsuit is presented, from pleading stage through discovery phase and on to the trial and appeal process. Bidding and bid protests, security bonds and mechanics liens are also examined.

Dates:  TBD
Times: 6:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Delivery: Live Instruction via Zoom Classroom
Cost: $525

Note: This course will have a 30-minute live session every week and will then include a 2.5 hour pre-recorded video prior to the next live session.

Contact 570-963-2600 or email [email protected] for more information and discount codes.


Introduction to Structural and Building Envelope Systems – AE 5001

The course will introduce the principles of structural systems and the building envelope with the intent to provide the construction/project managers with the knowledge to identify, integrate, and coordinate with project engineers and consultants. The building systems to be covered include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Foundation Systems - Footing, Slabs
  • Wall Systems - Masonry, Steel, Curtain Wall, Rain Screen
  • Roof Systems - Various membranes, Flat Roof, Sloped Roofs, Trusses
  • Fenestration Systems - Glazing, Veneers
  • Structural Forces - Compression, Tension, Bending, Shear, Moments

The course is lecture based and includes class discussions and workbook assignments. The course reviews the construction document components to each of the building systems.

Dates: TBD
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Delivery: Live instruction via Zoom Classroom
Cost: $525

Contact 570-963-2600 or email [email protected] for more information and discount codes.


Scheduling & Time Management in Construction - AE 5559

Construction specific scheduling and time management course that will teach students how to think about the construction project at hand and to build a project specific schedule. The course is lecture based and includes class discussions and workbook assignments.

  • New Construction: Typical out of the ground construction. This would include all of the site work components, foundations, exterior construction, interiors construction to close-out of the project.
  • Renovation Projects: Scheduling for an existing building renovation, occupied or vacant, dealing with phases.
    • For both schedule types we would cover multiple floor and the repeat aspect of scheduling. This is helpful for hotel or apartment building project.
  • Pre-Construction: Many construction companies are involved in Design-Build projects, which means they are a partner in the process in the early stages of the project dealing with not only design but client and governmental approvals. Documenting all of these steps and the time it takes to complete, along with what happens to the schedule should one of the items slip is crucial to the overall project schedule.
  • Time Management: The job of a Project Manager in the construction world takes on a multitude of projects with their own subcontractors and individuals for each. How to manage that plethora of people and tasks associated with each task is challenging. We will explore some of the best tools PM's use to keep their tasks and priorities in order.

Dates: TBD
Time:  6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Delivery: Live instruction via Zoom Classroom
Cost: $525


Note: The University reserves the right to cancel courses due to insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances.