module specification

AR4003 - Technology 1 (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Technology 1
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
228 hours Guided independent study
72 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Component 1: Technology Book
Coursework 40%   Annotated Drawings
Running in 2024/25

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

Module summary

Technology 1 introduces you to the disciplines of building technology and will enable you to identify and work with the basic principles involved in their application. You will be introduced to four core areas: structural design; materials (properties and selection) and construction (of building elements and components); building services; and environmental design.

The module is focused on well-considered sustainable design principles and the construction of habitable space in smaller-scale buildings. You will explore the different disciplines of building technology in-situ through on-site 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 you as architects for the complex task of getting work built. It aims to familiarise you 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 also aims to assist you in beginning to frame this complex world and understand how you can work with it to achieve well-considered sustainable designs within the context of climate change. 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 applied and enacted in practice.

The aims of the module are to teach skills pertaining to Health and Life Safety;  Structure, Construction and Resources; and Design Processes and Communication (‘Themes and Values’ from Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA): ‘The Way Ahead’ 2021). The module also aims to provide a practical framework through which you can address the academic discipline of architecture as outlined in the RIBA document ‘The Way Ahead, Education Themes and Values’ 2021 as well as ‘Guidance Notes to Institutions’ issued by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) in 2021.

Prior learning requirements




The lecture series in Technology 1  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 through targeted site visits, surveying techniques and seminar topics in relation to case studies and current practice. 

The core areas of the syllabus are: structure, materials and construction, environment and services. Structure is an introduction to structural principles, types and performance in relation to location, culture, form and material. Materials and construction is an 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. It is also an 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. Environment and services is an 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. Services is an 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 (LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

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 is organised in part around a series of subject-based lectures introducing basic principles of structures, materials and construction, environmental design and sustainability and services (LO 1, 2). The lectures are supplemented by practical workshops that engage you in the different subject areas through practice, active learning and problem solving (LO 2, 3).

Learning and teaching is also organised around seminars and tutorials supporting your individual project(s). You will choose from and use tasks from the five 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 you may ‘present as believable’ your own design work (LO 3, 4).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching on Technology 1 ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. You are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with your 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 Weblearn to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for you. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask you to reflect on your progress, seek help where you identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to yourself for future development. Throughout the module, you will 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 your personal development planning. Through these initiatives, you are increasingly able, as you progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of your discipline, the various opportunities available to you, and how to shape your learning according to your ambitions.

Learning outcomes

On satisfactory completion of Technology 1, a number of Learning Outcomes (LOs) will have been addressed.

You will:

1. Demonstrate knowledge and an understanding of the main core technologies involved in the building industry: structure, construction and 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/building (case study);

5. Undertake through drawing, the integrated study of the technology involved in a simple small-scale architectural design proposal or building (case study).