Global Opportunities

ARC2097 : ARC2097: Architectural Technology 2.1: Construction in Detail (Semester 1)

Semester 1 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


1.       The key aim is to demonstrate to students that ‘design’ and ‘technology’ are two sides of the same coin.
2.       Within the present context of climate emergency, the module seeks to demonstrate the relevance and impact that sustainable building technologies, constructional methods, material choices and ‘design’ in the broader sense, all have in relation to both natural and man-made environments.
3.       To introduce the idea of architectural design being about the ‘whole’ (i.e. a building that responds to a particular place and context and addresses a programmatic-based set of requirements) and that, whilst this is a common starting-point, consideration must also be given (and may sometimes commence with) the ‘parts’ (constructional materials, elements, components, junctions and details).
4.       To introduce a number of common constructional systems, with a focus on the sequence of building construction (the layering of materials within elements and the timing of when things happen) and the importance of constructional junctions and details (how and why things come together, are fixed and joined).
5.       To reinforce previously learned structural principles, to increase the understanding of structural ‘orders’, and to consider the spatial implications of different structural systems.
6.       To introduce relevant legislation, codes of practice and issues surrounding design and constructional health and safety.
7.       To highlight building and constructional realisation as being a fundamentally collaborative and group endeavour.

Outline Of Syllabus

Refer to the Aims, above:
1.       The module builds on the foundations established in Stage 1 Technology and Design modules and seeks through to directly complement and address the on-going Stage 2 Studio Design projects. At the start of the lecture ‘series’ the Design and Technology module separation within the K100 Programme is explained and, with reference to various examples, students are introduced to various ways in which design and technology over-lap, relate and are integral to one another. In addition, and with reference to various Architects and Engineers, a textual and visual overview of ‘details and detailing’ is undertaken – reinforcing the sense that ‘Construction in Detail’ is essentially design-centred. The very real ‘fear’ and anxiety that many students have regarding construction and technology learning is also addressed - various reasons for this are considered, and strategies are provided to help address this. Some of these specifically focus on similarities between design and technology.
2.       In addition to the lecture material, the focus is on encouraging students to realise the potential they all have to make a difference, especially in the real-world. Whilst this relates primarily to their on-going learning (and it is hoped that this acts as a motivator for some to engage with the current module more fully) it also contextualises this within the broader architectural student skills and attributes, in order to show how well equipped they will become to act as effective advocates (especially for clients and other members of the design team) for change. Whilst the focus is on presenting examples and highlighting issues, everyone is also invited to consider that their future choices will inevitably mean that they are either part of the ‘problem’, or part of the ‘solution’.
3.       Focussing on articles and key precedents, it is proposed that, to be truly impactful (either in design or broader terms) architectural design needs to simultaneously encompass both the ‘whole’ and the ‘parts’, and to allow considerations of one to inform the other.
4.       Various common constructional systems are considered and compared (including their history and development, material implications, common dimensional issues, reasons for their choice, and current and future applications). The bringing of elements and materials together is examined, not just in a constructional sense (although there is a focus on Movement, Waterproofing, Thermal Performance, and Fire Protection and also to ‘Fabric-First’ thinking), but also with consideration for design ‘language’ and, especially, ‘tectonics’ (the bringing together of materials and forms in a way that heightens and validates a broader architectural concept or idea).
5.       Structural assembly processes and sequences are considered, alongside the spatial implications that structural systems often suggest or dictate.
6.       Three Building Regulation Approved Documents are used to focus consideration on how building users can be kept safe when entering buildings (Part M), when moving around buildings (Part K) and when exiting buildings in an emergency (Part B), and to consider ways in which these can impact on building design, construction and use.
7.       Some of the common constructional roles and responsibilities are introduced, and the consequential need for clear and effective communication and coordination (often between many different parties) is considered.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials360:2012:006 weeks of 6 x 20-minute videos
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion315:0045:00The assessment takes the form of a portfolio format, compiled throughout the Semester.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities180:206:006 weeks of 3 x 20-minute research activity themed to support weekly lecture topics.
Guided Independent StudySkills practice61:006:00Digital modelling skills, construction information gathering exercises, in support of assessment.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops42:008:00Symposium sessions themed around climate change/emergency issues, live session relating to lectures.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops31:304:30Online workshops in support of the portfolio coursework assessment.
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion60:404:006 weeks of non-sync lecture/research Q&A sessions, 1/week of lecture delivery, Canvas discussions.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:304:30'Open’ online meeting allowing drop-in for Post-Induction, Pre-Assessment/Post-Assessment questions.
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity61:006:00Workshop prep sessions to support assessment. Small group discussions, peer-review, Q&A's and themes
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk41:004:00Weekly signposting talks + general Q&A’s (recorded and fed-back via Canvas discussion-board etc).
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
ARC2099Architectural Design 2.1 (Semester 1)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The proposal for 2021/22 is based around re-using the newly prepared video resources, along with some of the associated scaffolding activities (mainly structured research and reading), all delivered non-synchronously. The module ‘sign-posting’ talks will move to become scheduled fortnightly live ‘in-person’ sessions and in Semester 1, each of these will link to a new scheduled live ‘in-person’ Symposium session (forming a series of 4 in total). Each of the Symposium sessions will address a Climate Emergency theme and seek to relate these to the ongoing non-synchronous lecture videos and supporting research and reading – each Symposium is likely to include contributions from guest speakers (some of them remote geographically) and each will incorporate student group discussion and presentations.

Following feedback from the current cohort, the workshop provision will be increased slightly from the 2020/21 provision, although, following very positive feedback from the staff in relation to levels of student preparation and interaction, they will continue to be delivered on-line. The supporting on-line student-led workshop preparatory sessions will also be retained.


Summary of ‘Present in person’ provision:
The (roughly) fortnightly Module Talks and Symposiums will be scheduled live ‘in-person’ activities – a total of 14 hours across the 2 semesters.

Summary of Synchronous v Non-synchronous Hours:
There are both synchronous (24.5 hours in total across the 2 semesters) and non-synchronous (29 hours in total across the 2 semesters) Learning & Teaching Activities. The core lecture material will be delivered non-synchronously (as a series of 45 x 20 minute videos).

Summary of Plan ‘B’ – i.e. Fall-back position in the event of future lock-downs etc:
The scheduled ‘present in person’ activities (Module Talks and Symposiums – a total of 14 hours across the 2 semesters) will move to become scheduled on-line activities, delivered via Teams/Zoom, if the need arises.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study1M100An illustrative report, focussing on detailed construction and design
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

In the light of the intended knowledge and skills outcomes the 100% coursework assessment allows a strong linkage between technology understanding and the personally developed design work in the studio. The assessment is a portfolio submission, with students submitting sections at points throughout Semester 1.

Reading Lists