Environmental Technologies in Buildings

The primary focus of this course will be the study of the thermal, luminous and acoustic behavior of buildings in an architectural context. The course will examine the basic scientific principles underlying these phenomena and introduce students to a range of technologies and analysis skills for designing comfortable indoor environments. Students will be challenged to apply these skills and explore the role light, energy and sound can play in shaping architecture. The first part of the class will be dedicated to measuring and interpreting local weather conditions and how buildings can respond to prevailing solar gain, wind and daylighting patterns. We will then discuss the principles of heat storage and heat flow and discuss a number of manual and computer-based methods to predict the energy use of buildings.The second part of the course introduces the art and science lighting buildings and provides students with a design sequence based on rules of thumb and simulations for analyzing the daylighting within individual buildings and neighborhoods. Following a brief introduction to building acoustics the last part of the course will touch upon a number of technologies and climatization concepts including natural ventilation, life cycle assessment, geothermal heat pumps and pellet stoves. The course will end with a discussion of various conventional and emerging HAVC systems as well as two local field trips to existing buildings.The course format will consist of a series of lectures that are accompanied by software tutorials. A number of individual and group assignments and quizzes will help students to absorb the topics covered in class. The assignments in this class will be closed interlinked with the fourth semester core studio and students will be challenged to integrate what they have learnt in this class within their ongoing studio works.