module specification

AR7022 - Applied Technology in Architecture (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Applied Technology in Architecture
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 40
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 400
319 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   A3 Group design report
Coursework 20%   A4 Group costing report
Coursework 40%   A4 Detailing report
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Thursday Morning

Module summary

The module asks students to develop and demonstrate key technical skills.
The aims of the module are to promote and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key aspects of the technical skills appropriate to year 4. The module will enhance knowledge, understanding and abilities learnt at degree level in the use of materials, detail, structures, sustainability, environment and services, cost control mechanisms and user requirements in the creation of architecture, based on current best practice. Progression through the module will lead to the integration of knowledge and understanding gained into the final design project.


The programme of study comprises of a series of lectures, including multi-disciplinary lectures by leading practitioners incorporating current best practice, a one week long design charrette in groups and a costing workshop of this project.  The final project is linked to the spring semester studio design project, supported by seminars and tutorials, which includes internal and external consultants.

The syllabus includes:
• the theoretical and philosophical context of the built environment;
• discussion of structures and material selection leading to an understanding of their impact on use and the perception of architectural form and space;
• the principles of material selection and specification including sustainability, recyclablity, and embodied CO2;
• a review of envelope detailing for complex architectural projects;
• the development of a detailed knowledge of building systems and construction both ‘off the shelf’ and bespoke;
• the discussion of the relationship of craft and industrial production to contemporary architecture;
• an introduction to emergent materials;
• study of structural systems for long span and complex building types including the infrastructure of the built environment;
• form finding in architecture, including rapid prototyping;
• digital simulation of performance criteria: thermal, acoustic and structural in the design of architecture;
• reviewing evidence for global warming: the impact of buildings and infrastructure on climate change - and of climate change on design; environmental foot-printing and other methods of environmental impact assessment; renewable energy sources;
• the study of sustainable constructional strategies through an understanding of renewable energy in buildings, active and passive systems for space heating and cooling, water collection, reuse and environmental responsible management of foil water, zero-carbon buildings, embodied energy and embodied CO2;
• the study of the role and impact of sustainability, environment and services from; interior spatial strategies to regional infrastructural decision making including the scale between, for example, architecture, sitting and landscape;
• comfort and health in buildings: the interactive nature of the relationship between buildings and their occupants; the role of building design in achieving comfort in diverse climates;
• an appreciation of the techniques and design principles for energy responsible and socially appropriate buildings and infrastructure set in diverse climates and cultures, within in the context of the risk of global warming;
• discussion of autonomy and interdependence in architecture and the built environment;
• study of natural ventilation, utilisation of daylight, passive solar energy techniques and relevance of intensive services provision;
• study the interaction of form, placement, skin, services and spatial strategies in the creation of architecture, including form-finding techniques in architecture;
• study of the role and impact of services in a wide range of building types from housing to complex architectural projects;
• investigation of the changing nature of services in twenty-first century specifications and procurement. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5,LO6,LO7,LO8,LO9,LO10,LO11,LO12,LO13

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 have the opportunity to study outside of scheduled classes. A range of learning strategies are deployed and individual learning styles accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, are regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive pedagogical approach.
The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning. Peer-to-peer communication is fostered in seminars and tutorial support provided at key points in the calendar. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment tasks and formative feedback. Students are encouraged to reflect on their progress and engage in sequential decision making through staged submissions and worksheets, and to make recommendations to themselves for future development.
The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able – as they progress – to understand the professional environment of their discipline, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions and aspirations.

Learning outcomes

By completing the module the student should be able to:

1. demonstrate precise understanding and integrated knowledge of the role of
materials, structure, environment and services in the delivery of architecture and the built environment;
2. design and integrate key elements, components and assemblies within the Semester B studio project - focused on the detailed design incorporating knowledge of materials, structure, environment and services;
3. demonstrate an understanding of the role of construction, structure, services and materials in relationship to spatial and human conditions and building user’s requirements;
4. demonstrate an understanding of the principles of material selection including sustainability, recyclablity, and embodied CO2;
5. demonstrate an understanding of the interaction between the risk of global
warming and the built environment;
6. demonstrate knowledge of renewable energy sources and of active and passive solar design for buildings in diverse climates;
7. make an environmental impact assessment for a building or infrastructure
8. demonstrate an understanding of occupant comfort in buildings and the building/ occupant interaction;
9. demonstrate an understanding of the role and integration of services in the
delivery of architecture;
10. demonstrate the ability to make critical judgements regarding design strategies;
11. demonstrate the ability to integrate constructional technologies into architectural propositions;
12. demonstrate an understanding of financial factors implied in constructional systems, and mechanisms for cost control during the design development process;
13. understand the autonomy and interdependence in the built environment.

Assessment strategy

An emphasis is placed on the making of models both physical and digital, as learning tools and as a means of communicating ideas. Physical models should not be submitted for assessment.  Hard copies are submitted as well as digital copies, uploaded to Weblearn.

The module will be assessed in three ways:
• an A3 report of the detailed design of a group project;
• an A4 report of a costing of the group project;
• an A4 report on the detailed design of an individual studio design project in the spring semester.


All lectures, module content, programme and links to on-line resources can be found on Weblearn.  Students not automatically enrolled on the Weblearn should contact the module leader to be enrolled manually.


Anink, D. and Boonstra, C. (1996) Handbook of Sustainable Building: An Environmental Preference Method for Choosing Materials in Construction and Renovation, Revised ed. James & James (Science Publishers) Ltd
Baden-Powell, C. (1997) Architect’s Pocket Book, Architectural Press
Davies, C. (2005) The Prefabricated Home, Reaktion Books
Wentworth Thompson, D. (Reprinted 2000) On Growth and Form, (Cambridge Architectural Press)
Deplazes, A. (ed.) (2013) Constructing Architecture: Materials, Processes, Structures, a Handbook, (Birkhäuser)
Frampton, K. (2001) Studies in Tectonic Culture, (MIT Press)
Gonzalo, R. and Vallentin, R. (2014) Passive House Design, (Birkhäuser)
Herzog, T. (2004) Facade Construction Manual, (Birkhäuser)
Herzog, T. (2004) Timber Construction Manual, (Birkhäuser)
Hugues, T. and Peck, M. (ed.) (2014) Modern Concrete Construction Manual, (Birkhäuser)
Hascher, R. (2014) Emergent Timber Technologies, (Birkhäuser)
Knaack, U, Chung-Klaate, S. and Hasselbach, R. (2012) Prefabricated Systems, (Birkhäuser)
Kolb, J. (2008)  Systems in Timber Engineering, (Birkhäuser)
Koolhaas, R. (2014)  Elements of Architecture, (Marsilio)
Meijs,M. and Knaack, U. (2009)  Components and Connections, (Birkhäuser)
Nordenson, G. (ed.) (2008) The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Schematic Design, (Architectural Press)
Norman, J. (2016) Structural Timber Elements, a pre-scheme design guide, (Trada)
Spiro, A. and Ganzoni, D. (2013) The Working Drawing, The architect’s tool, (Park Books)
Staib, G., Dörrhöffer, A. and Rosenthal, F. (2012)  Components and Systems: Modular Construction – Design, Structure, New Technologies, (Birkhäuser)
Zeumer, M., Fuchs, M. and Stark, T. (2008) Energy Manual: Sustainable Architecture, (Birkhäuser)

Architecture Journal, Detail Studies (with costing information)
Detail Magazine (and related publications - available in the library)

Online Resources:
Construction Information Service (CIS) available through LondonMet Webcat
Concrete Centre
Riba product selector
Building Research Establishment
Green Guilde to Specification