Light and Structure - ARCH3250

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) Richard Watkins checkmark-circle


The key concepts of sustainable design are introduced. An awareness of the distinction between structural and non-structural elements in buildings is taught. Lectures and workshops on structures and basic constructional techniques are also introduced along with the study of the environmental factors of natural light, with reference to their impact upon building interiors. The palette of building materials is outlined, conveying both their sensory impact as well as their physical properties. An awareness of the prime means of placing and fixing different materials in addition to the aesthetic and technical aspects of joining materials.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 35
Private Study Hours: 115
Total Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Design (Structures Report) (40%)
Technology and Environment (Report and Chiaroscuro) (60%)

Both of the above assessed components must be passed

Reassessment methods
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Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Bell, James, Burt, William, and Rennie, David. (1995). Designing buildings for daylight. Watford: BRC/CRC.
Chudley, Roy and Greeno, Roger. (2010). Building Construction Handbook. Oxford: Butterworth
Gordon, J.E. (2004). Structures, or why things don't fall down. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Silver, Pete and Mclean, Will. (2008). Introduction to architectural technology. London: Laurence King.

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 principals 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 An awareness of the aesthetic possibilities of natural light
9 A basic knowledge of iterative and evidence-based approaches to design

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 An ability to critically evaluate your own ideas in the context of learning
4 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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