The sustainable built environment group is teaching core courses of the architectural curriculum as well as graduate level elective courses on sustainable design and research design. Most courses include term projects in which students apply their knowledge in groups.
Construction III – ARC 435K/385M
This course introduces students to the design and analysis of structures through graphical and analytical methods as well as through physical models. The structural behavior of columns and beams as well as the design of various structural components and connections will be covered. The importance of material choice and structural efficiency in design will be a common theme throughout the course. Graphic statics will provide a basis for visualizing how external forces, form and internal forces in elements are related.
A creative approach to architectural design with structural knowledge is encouraged. Knowledge obtained in this course will include preliminary sizing and analysis methods as well as geometrical form finding techniques.
Environmental Controls I – ARC 334K/ARI 324K
This course provides the essential architectural and technical understanding of daylighting, electrical lighting, electrical systems and acoustics, from both a quantitative and qualitative point of view. The goal is to provide architects, interior designers (and engineers, through collaboration) the skills to design comfortable, energy efficient, and healthy environments.
In Fall 2017, the term project of this course has been in collaboration with the engineering school on the design of a sustainable elementary school in Austin, TX.
Sustainable Architecture – ARC350R/ARC 386M/CRP 389C/LAR 385
Buildings are responsible for one third of the worldwide energy demand as well as anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Tall buildings use exponentially more material than medium and low-rise buildings, but offer one possible solution for densifying urban areas, thereby reducing transportation times and emissions. Therefore, a holistic approach for energy efficient design over the life cycle of buildings is necessary.
In this course we explore the interaction of site conditions, structural form and logic, spatial quality, and climatic performance in the context of tall building design. Special attention is placed on the role of the city and how tall buildings affect the public space and spatial organization. Case studies and historical references will provide the backbone of the course, followed by exercises in exploring the combination of practical strategies for the design of energy efficient buildings, such as renewable energy, natural ventilation, community building, and efficient use of materials. This requires combined knowledge provided by architects, planners, structural, environmental and energy engineers.
Note: In Spring 2017, this course was called Tall Buildings: Structure & Climate
Research Design – ARC 386
The purpose of this course is to prepare advanced students for the Master Design Study, MS Thesis, or PhD Dissertation proposal. The seminar begins with the assumption that design can be research and that research is designed. Although most students are very able to imagine compelling questions for design and research, many find it difficult to refine the question to manageable scope, identify the variables at play, create a research program, order the precedent study or data collection process, and interpret the sometimes odd data found.
Seminar participants will assist each other to critically evaluate research options. There will be weekly reading and writing assignments and each student will present a progress report of their evolving research project twice during the term—the first time as a speculation, the second time in the polished format required by the GSC of your discipline. Students from any discipline are welcome.