Environmental Systems in Architecture

The primary focus of GSD 6125 is the study of ecological considerations in architectural design. These considerations include the thermal, luminous, and acoustic behavior of buildings. 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 are challenged to apply these techniques and explore the role energy, light, sound, water, and materials can play in shaping architecture.

Students gain a better understanding of global resource issues and the role of buildings within this context. The course also presents the principles of heat flow in and around buildings. Basic manual and computer-based methods to predict the energy performance of buildings are discussed. In addition, the course introduces the art and science of lighting buildings along with manual and computer-based methods for analyzing daylight design. Finally, the instructor touches upon a number of technologies and ecological concepts including natural ventilation, life cycle assessment, site considerations as well as conventional and emerging HVAC systems.

Learning Objectives
In this course students will…
– Learn the basic principles and applications of thermodynamics, daylighting, energy fundamentals, and occupant comfort.
– Perform basic heat flow calculations for building envelopes and whole buildings.
– Gain a better understanding of global sustainability issues and the role of buildings within this context.
– Develop analytical and creative thinking regarding sustainability and energy issues in building design.