ARC 384F / ARI 384F

As a complementary course to EC Light/Sound/Electricity, this course will focus on the thermal environment, water systems and management, vertical transportation, fire protection and egress. The course will first establish a framework and a context for the technical components of buildings. These will include Environment, Resources & Energy; Site, Resources & Climate; Thermal Comfort; and the Design Process. Consequently, the various core topics of this course will be explored both individually and in relation to one another in order to develop students’ approaches to systems integration in architecture. The assignments will encourage the students to explore the possible opportunities to find interrelationships between different systems and disciplines.

The course will survey traditional and free-running buildings as a background to contemporary approaches of mechanical and hybrid environmental control. Beyond learning about the industry standard systems and methods, students will become familiar with alternative ways of fulfilling project and code requirements. Case studies will be used in order to broaden the students’ realm of possibilities in terms of system selection and the use of novel approaches to climate control for buildings. Other related topics such as the application of renewable energy technologies will also be covered.

A one-and-a-half hour lecture twice per week and a one-hour lab once per week for one semester.


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. After this survey, they should be able to use critical thinking (with some imagination) in order to push the selection and application of environmental control systems beyond what is typically offered by the industry. This should ultimately lead to more design autonomy, a more seamless integration of systems, improved occupant comfort, and better performing, more environmentally sensitive projects.

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

  • Perform fundamental calculations relating to enclosure heat flow, natural ventilation, rainwater collection
  • Have an in-depth understanding of the occupant's thermal comfort.
  • Be familiar with the technical terminology needed for effective interdisciplinary communication.
  • Recognize the importance of occupant behavior in the design of passive and mechanical systems.
  • Have a critical understanding of the role of analytical tools used for thermal and energy simulations.
  • Be familiar with the principles of water conservation and rainwater collection.
  • Use case studies to expose students to real-world conditions and illustrate application of environmental principles in contemporary practices.


Interior Design


Fall 2023