Spring 2022

ARC 384G (00979) ARI 384G  (00424) 

The core topics of this course consist of natural and artificial illumination, acoustics, and electricity. (This course complements EC: Heat/Air/Water: Thermal environment, water systems and management, vertical transportation, fire protection.)

Each core topic will be covered by first exploring its fundamental principles such as physics of light, sight and hearing. Consequently, the topics will be closely examined individually, as well as in relation to the other topics covered during this semester, and when relevant, in EC: Heat/Air/Water. An example of this would be the relationship between daylighting and thermal comfort, or acoustics and natural ventilation. Throughout the semester, the content of the lectures will also be put into context that will include site and urban factors, climate and culture, energy and environment, and codes. Beyond learning about today’s industry standard systems and methods, students will become familiar with alternative ways that can allow them to go beyond fulfilling basic project and code requirements.

The objective of this course is for graduate students to acquire an understanding of the technical material that will allow them to become effective designers and project team-leaders. Following this survey, students should be able to use critical thinking in order to push the selection and application of environmental control systems beyond what is typically offered by the industry. The acquired knowledge and skills in this course should ultimately lead to more design autonomy; a more seamless integration of systems; improved occupant comfort; and better performing and more environmentally sensitive projects.


Some of the specific objectives of this course are for students to be able to:

  • Have an in-depth understanding of lighting and architectural acoustic fundamentals
  • Perform fundamental calculations relating to illumination and acoustics
  • Be familiar with the technical terminology needed for effective interdisciplinary communication
  • Recognize the importance of occupant behavior in the design of daylighting and electrical illumination
  • Have a critical understanding of the role of analytical tools (physical and digital) relating to the topics covered
  • Have a basic understanding of utilization of electricity in buildings (principles, materials, systems, renewable technologies)
  • Have a basic understanding of signal systems (security, communication, control and automation)