Diploma in Building Construction Engineering (KNEC)

A diploma in Building and Construction Engineering is a course that equips the learner with skills to supervise and computes measurement on a construction site. Students learn how to design, construct, manage, and understand what happens on a construction site. The course is related to building construction engineering. For KNEC diploma module 1 the two courses study the same units.

In Kenya, it is offered at both universities and TVET institutions. For university, they have the autonomy of deciding on what to be included in the course. However, TVET uses a common syllabus produced by KICD and examined by KNEC. In this article, we concentrate on Diploma in Building Construction Engineering for the KNEC syllabus.

The objective of the Building Construction course

By the end of this Diploma in building construction Engineering, the trainee is expected to be able to do the following.

  1. The graduate of the course should have skills to manage building site works for various buildings such as houses, dams, and other structures.
  2. The students should be able to design, manage, and construct buildings that meet building engineering works standards.
  3. The graduate of the course will be equipped with the knowledge to fit in the role of building engineering technician in the construction industry.
  4. The course will offer foundation knowledge to further train in the building construction works industry.

The entry requirement for Diploma in Building Construction Engineering

Being a Diploma course those who wish to join the course in any TVET institution will require a minimum KCSE grade of C-. There is no cluster subject required. However, since it is an engineering course, it will require good mathematics, analytical, and physics knowledge.

Those who have done a Craft certificate in building construction engineering and passed can proceed to a diploma level. Depending on your performance at the craft level you can request KNEC to exempt you from some units. When exempted you will be admitted to module 2 of the diploma instead of module 1.

Units covered in the Diploma in Building Construction Engineering course

For the diploma KNEC program, the course is divided into 3 modules/levels which are supposed to take 3 years. The student does the unit in each module and does the KNEC exam for those specific units before preceding to the next level.

If you fail 3 units among all your units per module, KNEC considers it as FAIL and you have to repeat all units in that module. When you fail 1 or 2 units you are allowed to proceed to the next level but you must repeat the failed unit and pass before you are Certified by KNEC.

For Diploma in Building Construction Engineering course, the following are the units that you are required to cover to be certified.

For common courses that are not core units, the KNEC exam is combined as one paper.

Module 1 units

  1. Mathematics I
  2. Physical sciences
  3. Construction Material
  4. Workshop Technology I (Mechanical)
  5. Technical Drawing
  6. Geotechnology I
  7. Concrete Technology I
  8. Construction Plant and Equipment
  9. General Building Construction I
  10. Surveying I
  11. Structures I
  12. Communication skills
  13. Life Skills
  14. Information Communication Technology
  15. Entrepreneurship

After module 1 students are expected to go for an industrial attachment which is a requirement of the course. Students can be attached to any industry or area that deals with civil construction or buildings-related construction. This can include roads, houses, bridges, and any other construction sites.

Module 2 units

  1. Mathematics II
  2. Workshop Technology II (Electrical)
  3. Geotechnology II
  4. Concrete Technology II
  5. General Building Construction II
  6. Surveying II
  7. Structures II
  8. Measurement of Building Works
  9. Estimating and Costing I
  10. Construction Management I
  11. Building Construction Project Design and Portfolio I
  12. Building Drawing and CAD I
  13. Business Plan

Module 3 units

  1. Mathematics III
  2. General Building Construction III
  3. Surveying III
  4. Structures III
  5. Estimating and Costing II
  6. Construction Management II
  7. Building Services
  8. Building Drawing and CAD II
  9. Building Construction Project Design and Portfolio II

Career progression in building construction Engineering

After you have done the course you will have enough knowledge of construction site management to manage a site.

With a Diploma in building construction, you can progress to a bachelor’s degree in building construction engineering. You can specialize in areas such as

  1. Structural engineering
  2. Building control surveyor
  3. Design Engineer
  4. Cost estimator
  5. Site engineer

Universities such as TUK in Kenya offer building construction engineering degrees. Please as you purpose to pursue the degree check if the university you choose is accredited to offer building construction engineering courses. If the university is not accredited for the course it will be hard to get engineering board approval to practice as an engineer.

To practice engineering in Kenya you will require to be certified by the Kenya Engineering Board. This is the body that is tasked with ensuring registering all engineers. It ensures that they follow all guidelines when constructing or carrying out any engineering task.

Prospect employment areas/opportunities

With a Diploma in Building Construction Engineering, you can be employed as a building construction engineer technician. Building construction work-related task will include

  1. Interpreting building drawings,
  2. Managing the construction site,
  3. Carrying out surveys on site before construction begins.
  4. Estimating the cost of construction for different designs and works
  5. Manage and plan material transportation for the site among many other site-related duties.

For self-employment, you can start your own construction consulting company. This may take time since many people want to work with reputable companies that have vast experience.

However, in the meantime, you can start small by designing structures using ArchiCAD and other CAD software and selling them. You can do building cost estimation, and a survey among other skills learned in the course to earn a living even without formal employment.