Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2021
Units: 5
Hours: 37 lecture, 86 laboratory per quarter (123 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: Per California Code of Regulations, this course is limited to students admitted to the Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Apprenticeship Program.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: None
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • 1- Build a VAV box control system.
  • 2- Define safety procedures for working on electrical equipment.


Fourth-year course of the HVACR Apprenticeship Program. Provides a working knowledge of direct digital control systems and the electronics involved with these systems as they apply to comfort air and building control management.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Explain and use electrical safety policies and guidelines
B. Demonstrate the building of automation systems and controllers
C. Demonstrate the use of heat pump control systems
D. Demonstrate the use of VAV box control systems
E. Demonstrate the use of operator interfaces
F. Demonstrate the building of automatic systems inputs and outputs
G. Perform BAS installation, wiring and testing

Course Content

A. Safety
1. OSHA practices
2. Working safely with electrical equipment
B. Building automation and controllers
1. Building automation identification
2. BAS controller specifications
C. Heat pump control systems
1. Using trainers to build a heat pump control system
D. VAV boxes
1. Using trainers, build a VAV box control system
E. Operator interfaces
1. Operator interface identification activity
F. BAS inputs and outputs
1. Digital inputs and outputs
2. Analog inputs and outputs
G. Installation, wiring and testing
1. Communications bus and power wiring
2. Input identification
3. Binary input and output
4. Temperature sensor characteristics

Lab Content

Students will work individually and in teams on:
A. Wiring diagrams and activities
B. Building heat pump control systems
C. Building VAV box control systems
D. Troubleshooting building automation systems

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

Laboratory with digital control system and modular trainers designed/assembled by students.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Written examination
Hands-on demonstration
Group and individual participation
Completion of projects

Method(s) of Instruction


Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

American Technical Publishers. HVAC Control Systems, 2nd ed.. 2007.

International Pipe Trades Joint Training Committee, Inc.. HVACR Training Manual for United Association Journeyworkers and Apprentices. 2008.

Although these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Readings from HVACR Training Manual for United Association Journeyworkers and Apprentices
1. Chapter 16.6, Direct Digital Controls (DDC)
B. Writings from HVACR Training Manual for United Association Journeyworkers and Apprentices workbook
1. Chapter 16, pages 99-100


Plumbing OR Steamfitting OR Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, Heating