Environmental Technologies in Buildings

The primary focus of this course is the study of the thermal, luminous and acoustic behavior of buildings in an architectural context. The course examines the basic scientific principles underlying these phenomena and introduces students to a range of technologies and analysis techniques for designing comfortable indoor environments. Students will be challenged to apply these techniques and explore the role light, energy and sound can play in shaping architecture.

Following a brief review of how to analyze a site\’s climate and local energy mix, the first part of the course is dedicated to the principles of heat storage and heat flow in and around buildings. Basic manual and computer-based methods to predict the energy use of buildings will also be discussed.

The second part of the course introduces the art and science of lighting buildings along with manual and computer-based methods for analyzing daylight within and around buildings.

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 as well as conventional and emerging HAVC systems. The course will end with a trip to exemplary buildings in the Boston area.

The course format consists of biweekly lectures and occasional workshops. Individual and group assignments as well as in-class presentations will help students to study the contemporary use of environmental technologies in buildings.

The course format will consist of a series of lectures that are accompanied by software tutorials. A number of individual and group assignments, in class presentations and quizzes will help students to absorb the topics covered in class.