Course Understanding

Posted: September 21, 2010 in Assignment 1

This course focuses on the design of the building systems rather than an aesthetical building design. The topic discussed listed on the syllabus is as follows:

  • Introduction to Building Systems concept
  • Development of key A/E parameters
  • Analysis techniques for building systems – Introduction
  • Structural building systems
  • Mechanical building systems
  • Electrical building systems

The following sequence of topics is a result of a sensible building design. First three topics introduce conceptual building design and then it follows to structural system. Structural systems are first out of major systems to be designed and installed. Since mechanical systems are the largest out of other building operations systems, therefore it is designed and installed next. Then the plumbing and electrical systems are designed around the major components. The course will follow the customary sequence of design followed in today’s industry.

In addition to the regular ‘segregated’ systems design approach, this course introduces a rather new and rapidly gaining popularity integrative design approach. As presented in class via video “Performance by Design”, this new approach requires all of the systems to be designed together with all architects, engineers, and in many cases interior designers working together as collaborative group from the very beginning stages of the project.

There are 8 assignments in this course, and they are laid out in a specific way for a reason. These assignments are as follows:

  • Course Overview
  • BIM
  • Major Buildings
  • Structures Variety
  • Structures Selection
  • HVAC Variety
  • HVAC Selection
  • Building Analysis

The assignment sequence is important, because it simulates a real design sequence in the industry. First assignment is designed to allow us familiarize with the course requirements, as we would do the same when familiarizing ourselves with project requirements.

BIM (Building Information Modeling) is introduces at the beginning of the course so that we have the tools we need to accomplish sensible and timely designs. Revit is the upcoming software to be used in BIM. It is excellent in creating design models and realistic high resolution renderings for presentations. It also is invaluable in creating systems 3D models for interference checking, which reduces the RFIs needed (thus the lower cost) during the installation. Although, I must mention, that Revit as well as most of Autodesk products have been neglecting electrical engineers and contractors making it more difficult to produce 3D models for their systems. Then, as mentioned earlier, assignments concentrate on Structures followed by mechanical systems.

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