ARC 350 Mechanical Systems in Architecture (3 credits)

Course Description 

Introduction to basic mechanical systems for a modern building to function.  Focus is given regarding design process and integration of mechanical and related spatial requirements.

Course Goals and Objectives 

  • Understand integrated design process with sustainable sites and resources
  • Design incorporating comfort and indoor air quality needs
  • Be able to calculate solar geometry and design shading devices
  • Calculate heat loss based on a variety of wall section details and illustrate the temperature gradient along with dew point and location of condensation
  • Understand the variety of heating and cooling systems available and appropriate installations based on type of building, sustainability goals, and climate
  • Understand fundamentals of lighting design, acoustics, water and waste systems
  • Understand principles of fire protection, signals, and building transportation systems
  • Develop building section with innovative 3-D model to illustrate concepts including environmental design, solar geometry, thermal mechanical systems and lighting sources for a sustainable building


Topical Outline 

10% Design Context
30% Thermal Control
10% Illumination
5% Acoustics
10% Water & Waste
5% Fire Protection
5% Signal Systems
5% Transportation
20% Term Project – Building Section & Site Visits


PHY 115 General Physics & Lab, Junior standing

Textbooks/Learning Resources:

Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings: Grondzik, Kwok, Stein, Reynolds
Builder’s Guide to Cold Climates
: Lstiburek
Architectural Graphic Standards: Ramsey Sleeper


Fall Semester, annually

Faculty assigned

Robert J. Sherman, AIA, Assistant Professor of Architecture