NOTE: An embedded player will work on Windows-based computer systems. Execute the show70.exe file and choose from Introduction.pqf, NCPTT Electrical.pqf, NCPTT HVAC.pqf, or NCPTT Plumbing.pqf.


NCPTT plans to convert these lessons into web-based versions and retire the CD-ROM and download versions in 2009.

This CD-ROM course, BPR 140: Mechanical Systems, is designed to familiarize the student with the plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and insulation systems in historic buildings. The department recognizes that each of these trades is a career in itself and that this course can’t possibly teach you everything about these trades. What this course does attempt to do is to:

  1. Provide a working vocabulary in each of the areas.
  2. Discuss issues in each of the areas that specifically deal with historic preservation.
  3. Establish a beginners level understanding of how each of these areas work in a building and provide some useful information on how to diagnose and remedy simple problems.
  4. Present an historical perspective on the development of each of these trades.


The course is divided into three sections:

  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Plumbing

Each one is a self-contained unit. You may begin with any of the units however it is suggested that you complete one unit before beginning the next. Each unit is accompanied by a series of readings from the textbooks. Reading lists for each section may be found below. A copy of each syllabus is provided for your convenience.

  • Electric Syllabus
  • Mechanical Syllabus
  • Plumbing Syllabus


Written and produced by: David R. Mertz, Assistant Professor, Building Preservation Technology, Belmont Technical College

With help from:

Building Preservation Technology Faculty, Simon Herbert and Jeff Goetz

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, John Robbins and Fran Gale

Old House Journal, Gordon Bock

Colonial Williamsburg, Gordon Bock

Monticello, Mindy Black and Mimi Addicks and staff

Montpelier, Mark Haskins and staff

Technical Credits

Produced on a Quantex Computer with an Intel Pentium 200 Processor

Slides digitized on a Polaroid Sprintscan 35

Photographs and Illustrations digitized on a Microtek flatbed scanner

CD-ROMs produced using a Hewlett Packard CD recorder.

This course was produced using Corel Presentations and Adobe Photoshop 3.0 software.