module specification

AR4003 - Technology 1 (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Technology 1
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Technology Book - A collated document addressing the tasks and criteria as set in the assessment brief
Coursework 50%   Annotated Drawings - A set of drawings addressing the tasks and criteria as set in the assessment brief
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year (Spring and Summer) City Tuesday Morning
Year City Tuesday Morning

Module summary

The module introduces the disciplines of building technology and enables the student to identify and work with the basic principles involved in their application. The module introduces structural design, material properties and selection, building services and environmental design, design and construction of building elements and components. It is focused on well-considered sustainable design principles and the construction of habitable space in smaller scale buildings and interiors. The module explores the different disciplines of building technology in-situ through site visits and surveys, through making and drawing workshops, as well as through lectures, seminars and the utilisation of a wide variety of published sources.

The module aims to prepare students as architects and interior architects for the complex task of getting their work built. It aims to familiarise them with the scope of the industry and the different disciplines involved the design and delivery of buildings; all of which have their own knowledge base, consultants, specialists, manufacturers, resources and forms of communication. The module aims to assist the student in beginning to frame this complex world and understand how they can work with it to achieve well-considered sustainable designs. To achieve this aim, the module focuses on two important modes of learning: a) the means to construct coherent and usable bodies of knowledge, and b) to see how principles are enacted in practice.

Prior learning requirements



The lecture series introduces a knowledge base, principles, terminology and practice. The seminars and workshops develop familiarity and use through practice and experimentation in context. Aspects of the course are specific to Architecture and Interior Architecture through targeted site visits, surveying techniques and seminar topics in relation to case studies and current practice.  Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

A) Structure
Introduction to structural principles, types and performance in relation to location, culture, form and material. These lectures are followed by seminars and/or workshops.

B) Materials
Introduction to characteristics and properties of materials in relation to the source, processes of extraction, production, manufacture and use in building. The practical and ecological implications of use are considered in terms of renewability, recyclability, bio-degradability as well as transport. These lectures are followed by seminars and/or workshops.

C) Construction
Introduction to principles, technologies and processes of construction relating the efficient use of method, material, sequence and performance integrated through and within the design process to address aspects of user comfort, safety, protection and escape. These lectures are followed by seminars and/or workshops.

D) Environment
Introduction to principles and technologies of active and passive systems of ventilation, acoustics and thermal performance as they impact on human comfort and building design. These lectures are followed by seminars and/or workshops.

E) Services
Introduction to principles of providing and removing water, air, power and waste from buildings using physical, mechanical and electrical systems. Aspects of providing comfort and hygiene are considered in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact. These lectures followed by seminars and/or workshops.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

The module focuses on two important modes of learning: on the one hand the process of constructing coherent and usable bodies of knowledge, on the other, seeing how principles are enacted in practice.

The learning and teaching for the Tech Book assessment is organised around a series of subject-based lectures introducing basic principles of structures, materials and construction, environmental design and sustainability and services. [Learning outcomes 1, 2]

The lectures are supplemented by practical workshops that engage the student in the different subject areas through practice, active learning and problem solving. This involves completing a series of technological tasks and compiling these into a documentation of their knowledge, experience and critical reflection of building technology – the Tech Book component. [Learning outcomes 2, 3].

The learning and teaching for Annotated Drawings is organised around seminars and tutorials supporting individual student projects. The students choose from and use tasks from the 5 core areas of Technology 1 to propose a development, adaptation or improvement to a simple small-scale architectural case study, and through this process show how they may ‘present as believable’ their own design work. [Learning outcomes 3, 4]

The composition and annotation of technical drawings is the key part of the proposal, the testing/experimentation and the outcome as presented in document. The drawings are supported by other technical objects ie. models, data-models, charts, tables, diagrams, sketches etc. The effectiveness of composition of the document overall, and individual pages integrating text, image and diagram, is seen as aspect in communicating technology. [Learning outcomes 4, 5].

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to work individually and collaboratively to:

1. demonstrate knowledge and an understanding of the main core technologies involved in the building industry: structure, construction, materials, environmental comfort and services;
2. identify and classify different structural, environmental, constructional and material systems and the attendant conceptual and practical terms of reference in building technology;
3. use a variety of means (quantitative and qualitative) to analyse, interpret and compare different structural, environmental, constructional and material systems in relation to performance, physical comfort and sustainability, as well as common building regulations;
4. identify and address an issue, problem or opportunity, developed through substantive research and analysis of a simple small-scale architectural design proposal;
5. undertake through drawing, the integrated study of the technology involved in a simple small-scale architectural design proposal.

Assessment strategy

The strategy is to provide an iterative and developmental model of assessment. 
The assessment items develop the acquisition of knowledge (lectures/tasks) and use of practice (tasks/workshops) through experimentation (workshops/Tech Book, tutorials/proposal) towards critical reflection (proposal/drawings) and judgement (drawings/outcome/document).

Technology Book (50%)
A collated document that demonstrates organisation, understanding and critical reflection of the knowledge and principles of the core syllabus areas: structures, materials and construction, building services, environmental comfort and sustainability.
The technology book is an individual record of participation in the core lectures and workshops presented as a document of carefully composed text, images and diagrams; including original writing and referenced texts, annotated original and referenced photographs, surveys and scaled 2D/3D drawings.

* Learning outcomes numbered 1, 2, 3 above are specifically assessed as the Tech Book submission.

Annotated Drawings (50%)
A set of conventionally scaled, referenced and coordinated architectural drawings (eg. 1:100, 1:20 and 1:5) demonstrating the integration of structure, building services, materials and construction in a simple architectural enclosure developed to be used to describe and support a proposal for change; including the orientation, building elements, components and construction sequence collated into a carefully composed document.

* Learning outcomes numbered 4, 5 above are specifically assessed as the Annotated Drawings submission.


Core Text:

Ashby, M. and Johnson, K. (2014) Materials and Design – the Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design, Butterworth Heineman

Baden-Powell, C., (2017) Architect’s Pocket Book, Architectural Press

Ching, F. (2008) Building Construction Illustrated, Wiley

Deplazes, A. (ed.), (2013) Constructing Architecture – Materials, Process and Structures, Birkhauser

Everett, A., (1994) Materials – Mitchell’s Building Series, Longman

Hall, F. and Greeno, R., (2017) Building Services Handbook, Routledge

Heywood, H., (2015) 101 Rules of Thumb for Sustainable Buildings & Cities, RIBA Publishing

Hunt, T., (1997) Tony Hunt’s Structures Notebook, Architectural Press

Van Lengen, J., (2008) Barefoot Architect: A Handbook for Green Building, Shelter

Moxon, S., (2012) Sustainability in Interior Design, Laurence King Publishing

Silver, P. and McLean, W. (2013) Introduction to Architectural Technology, Laurence King

Sassi, P., (2006) Strategies for Sustainable Architecture, Taylor & Francis

Other Texts:

Michelle Addington, D. and Schodek, D. (2005) Smart Materials and Smart Technologies, Routledge

Dawson, S., (2004) Architects’ Working Details 10, AJ/EMAP Construct

Delaney, M. and Gorman, A., (2011) Studio Craft & Technique: The Architecture Student's Handbook, Laurence King

Gordon, J. E., (2006) The New Science of Strong Materials, or why we don't fall through the floor, Penguin,

Gordon, J. E., (2003) Structures or why things don’t fall down, Da Capo Press

Levy, M. and Salvadori, M., (1994) Why Buildings Fall Down, Norton

Mitchell, M. and Tang, B., (2018) Loose Fit City: The Contribution of Bottom-Up Architecture to Urban Design and Planning, Routledge

Van Onna, E., (2002) Material World - Innovative Structures and Finishes for Interiors, Frame/Birkhauser

Pye, D., (1995) The Nature and Art of Workmanship, Herbert Press

Pye, D., (1982) The Nature and Aesthetics of Design, Herbert Press

Salvadori, M., (1990) Why buildings stand up, Norton

Wigginton, M., (1996) Glass in Architecture, Phaidon


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