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ARC3016 : Architectural Technology 3: Integrated Construction and Practice

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Neil Burford
  • Other Staff: Professor Ben Bridgens, Mr John Kinsley
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 5
Semester 2 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


ARC3016 introduces a range of sophisticated concepts, strategies, and technical responses in relation to the design of Net-Zero Carbon and Ultra-Low Energy Buildings including the introduction, knowledge, and application of the wider ecologies and impacts of resource use in the built environment and the role of buildings in delivering future sustainable, equitable, Net-Zero Carbon communities. It also consolidates concepts and understandings of the business and management principles of architectural practice, the architect's role and responsibilities in relation to the wider building industry, planning frameworks, building control and health and safety legislation.

The course builds on the foundations established in BA Architecture Stage 2 and Stage 3 M-AUP as well as directly informs the BA Architecture Stage 3 and Stage 4 M-AUP graduation design project. It tests students’ personal thinking and approaches in response to how to resolve and integrate strategies and responses within the design of more complex buildings and building massing – sustainable zero-carbon building concepts, sustainable material and construction practices, and wider environmental and ecological strategies.

This requires students to think philosophically and strategically and apply in detail technical concepts and solutions as an integral part of the design decision making process and as a generator and driver for the conceptual ideas in the ARC3001 Design Project.

The main aims throughout the course are to:

• Build on the role that Net-Zero Carbon technologies and Net-Zero Energy building design impacts future sustainable building construction practice as it relates to more complex urban formations and medium- to large-scale buildings of increased programmatic, spatial, and environmental complexity covering a range of material, structural, environmental, and tectonic strategies.

• Enable students to understand building technology as being an integrated ‘strand’ of the iterative process of design from inception through to completion, rather than something which is ‘bolted-on’ or considered ‘at the end’, and thereby encourage each student to develop a personal philosophical position in relation to a range of more complex issues related to sustainable environment, society, technology, economy, and policy.

• Enable students to gain a wide and in-depth knowledge of relevant legislation, codes of practice, and issues surrounding sustainability, net-zero carbon design and construction, circular economy, mitigation and adaptation measures, fire safety, and design and constructional health and safety, and the competing and often contradictory demands these impose on architectural practice.

• Introduce ideas of 'choice' as they relate to net-zero carbon building design and sustainable specification, with a view to enabling students to understand the value of buildings, materials and constructions, with a particular emphasis on energy, waste reduction, human behaviour, and ecological impacts.

• Encourage the integration of both ‘strategic’ and ‘detailed’ approaches to sustainable building design and net-zero carbon technologies via the conceptualisation of formal, material and structural responses and to further examine the extent to which ‘detail’ and ‘constructional’ design can convey and complement a wider architectural intent and an ethical position in relation to future sustainable development.

Outline Of Syllabus

The course contains several interrelated components designed to give a strong foundation in the design of net-zero carbon buildings, sustainable materials and technologies, and the wider environmental, social, economic, and political contexts in support of the development, from concept to detail of technical strategies for the BA Architecture Stage 3 and Stage 4 M-AUP Graduation Project.

The course is delivered through a Lecture Series, Engineering Symposium, Technical Tutorials, and a Detailed Design Review. Lectures are delivered across Semesters 1 and 2 and are organised around the technical symposia and detail design reviews and take place in three mini-block delivery formats. The mini-Technical Symposia take place in Semester 2 and establish more in depth and applied technical principles which focus on the application and integration of technology from a conceptual to detail level. These are co-delivered with external practicing architects and specialist consultants in a series of technical workshops.


Semester 1 lectures establish a context in the parallel development of theory, design and technology related to sustainable building innovation, introducing a knowledge and understanding of:

• Circular economy, efficiency of means, industrialisation and prefabrication in relation to resources, materials, components, assemblies and entire buildings.

• These are considered in relation to the broader issue of ‘value’ (societal, personal, monetary, and ethical).

• Sustainable building assessment methodologies are introduced – including the architect’s role, and an awareness that the demonstration of a certain standard of performance is not a neutral act.

• These are understood within the wider context of the sustainable development goals, natural capital, and ecosystem services and underpin the basis for a sustainability toolkit for design.

• This is used to inform the development of a personal sustainability position for the ongoing development of the individual Graduation Project design proposal.


The lectures, engineering mini-symposia and practical demonstrations introduce more in-depth issues covering various interrelated topics that govern the sustainable design of buildings and their technical resolution and support the technical concepts and detailed resolution of individual design proposals. Topics covered will include:

• Concepts for structuring space including strategies for load transfer, stability and structural efficiency, integration and organisation of space, across a range of structural materials.

• Fire and life safety design including regulations and design principles for minimisation of fire, smoke generation and spread, means of escape, access for emergency services, performance specifications and detailing, protecting of building users, and ethics.

• The relationship between buildings, settlements and communities, and supporting infrastructures in terms of heat, electricity, water, and waste including human behaviour, resource minimisation, and strategies for supporting and enhancing biodiversity and local ecologies.

• Principles for designing Net-Zero Energy Buildings including designing for physiological, psychological and embodied experience, passive and active design, low and zero-carbon energy generation and storage, ventilating, heating, cooling, and services integration.

• Low Embodied Carbon and Whole Life Carbon construction principles including material choices and specifications in relation to embodied energy, thermal mass, design for deconstruction, thermal envelope quantification, and embodied energy analysis.

• These elements of learning are designed to further emphasise the importance of material choices both technical and aesthetic, the junctions and the process of assembly, both constructional and with a focus on tectonic intent.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:0080:00The assessment is a semi-portfolio format, compiled from three separate submissions
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion133:0033:00Independent research and development work in relation to developing strategies and solutions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture92:0018:00Module talks to support S1 and S2 lecture material blocks coordinated with ARC3001 and ARC8090 graduation project
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials151:0015:00Recorded videos in blocks of 20 minutes (non-sync). Students are expected to engage with a range of these materials on an elective basis to support the technical resolution of their projects. 38 hours of material are available of which 15 hours will be directly relevant on a project by project basis
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical61:006:00Practicals of worked examples delivered by specialist practitioners to support engineering symposium
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading103:0030:00Guided reading, research and creative design work in relation to developing strategies and solutions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching33:009:00Small group workshop sessions in support of the technical design delivered by technical buddies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching14:004:00Interim project reviews focusing on detailed design and technical strategies
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity22:004:00Student-led small group working, including discussions and peer review and formulation of individual
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery30:201:00‘Open’ online meeting allowing drop-in for post-induction questions and clarification and Q&As
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Teaching is primarily by practicals in workshops and studio supported by a-synchronous lectures which establish a framework for learning.

A mixture of scheduled and structured activities, including recorded mini-lectures, reading, and skills-based tasks are carried out individually and in small student groups in three delivery-blocks over the course of two weeks each, in order for students to build their knowledge of advanced architectural technology, develop the skills to locate and evaluate information independently, and synthesise this within their individual graduation project designs. These are supported by directed reading and skills practice between module activity days, and towards the end of the Semester 2 in an Interim Technical Review and assessment preparation.

Students are encouraged to undertake independent research within an area of personal interest drawing from material introduced in lectures in the formulation of the technical report. The students’ learning is supported by synchronous activities such as module talks, surgeries, and studio-based practicals and seminars.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj2M100Coursework involving the development of a technical report focusing on integrated technical design within the graduation project for ARC3001 or ARC8090.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Coursework involves the development of a technical report focusing on integrated technical design within the graduation projects of ARC3001 or ARC8090. Graphical report of about 1000 words and 30 pages in length formatted in relation to the graduation portfolio.

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 and fosters an integrated approach to the synthesis of design and technology.

If a student fails the assessment, they will be required to resubmit and achieve a passing mark at the second attempt in order to pass the module.

Reading Lists