Building Envelope - ARCH3200

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 4 15 (7.5) Jef Smith checkmark-circle


Aspects of the Technology & Environment curriculum covered in this module include the fundamentals of the external envelope, the thermal environment, human comfort, artificial light, and natural ventilation. An important aspect includes the weathering of materials, and an introduction to building services-plumbing, electrical, etc.
Students will explore these technical and environmental aspects in the context of a design project, providing students with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience with the complexity of technical integration in architecture at a small scale. Moreover, students will experience the relationship between theory and practice and technical/environmental design


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 43
Private Study Hours: 107
Total Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Construction and Structures Design (50%)
Environment and Sustainability Design (50%)
Both of the above assessed components must be passed.

Reassessment methods

Like for like.

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading Lists:

Ching, Francis and Adams, Cassandra (Ed). (2000). Building construction illustrated. London: Wiley
Chudley,Roy, Greeno,Roger (2010), Building Construction Handbook. Oxford: Butterworth
Losantas, Agata. (2006). Stair Design. London: Daab
Silver, Pete and Mclean,Will (2008), Introduction to architectural technology (London: Laurence King)
Thomas, Randall (ed.). (2006). Environmental design: an introduction for architects and engineers. London: Taylor and Francis
The Building Regulations. Approved documents K, L, and M.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate:

1 A basic knowledge of the need to critically review precedents relevant to the function, organisation and technological strategy of design proposals
2 A basic knowledge of the investigation, critical appraisal and selection of alternative structural, constructional and material systems relevant to architectural design
3 A basic knowledge of strategies for building construction, and ability to integrate knowledge of structural principles and construction techniques
4 A basic knowledge of the physical properties and characteristics of building materials, components and systems, and the environmental impact of specification choices
5 A basic knowledge of the principles associated with designing optimum visual, thermal and acoustic environments
6 A basic knowledge of the systems for environmental comfort realised within relevant precepts of sustainable design
7 A basic knowledge of the strategies for building services, and ability to integrate these in a design project
8 The necessary skills to prepare analytical and detailed technical drawings illustrating accurately structural, constructional and environmental design solutions
9 Understanding the challenges of integrating building fabric (materials), services and control regimes into a unified environmental design strategy
10 Ability to apply the principles of evidence-based design to the evaluation of environmental design strategies

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate:

1 An ability to begin to understand the alternative materials, processes and techniques that apply to architectural design and construction
2 An ability to begin to understand the knowledge of the context of the architect and the construction industry, and the professional qualities needed for decision making in
complex and unpredictable circumstances
3 Research skills and analytical skills
4 An ability to produce reports which are clear, analytical and logical covering a range of technical issues and include appropriate illustrations
5 An ability to critically evaluate your own ideas in the context of learning
6 An awareness of the role of research in overcoming knowledge gaps


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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