Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation


A4125 - Building Systems I

Spring 2003





The remaining weeks of this course will be spent analyzing a prominent post WWII building. Using the building's construction drawings as the primary source of information, the investigation will focus on the interrelationship between the structural, mechanical and enclosure systems, construction methods and materials and the architectural form. The examination of the building systems will emphasize the way in which each informs and impacts the others as well as their ultimate affect on the creation of the architecture.


An objective of this part of the course will be to understand the architect's attitude regarding the building systems and how the architectural idea/intention of the specific building is realized, reflected and/or amplified by the choice, manipulation, interaction and execution of the building systems.


The process of the investigation will be documented with plan, section and detail drawings and diagrams, detail models and a technical report.



Please meet each week at 2pm in Wood Auditorium for crit sign-up, announcements and homework assignments.


Before February 25 Form into groups, choose building to analyze


February 25 Pick up sets of drawings


March 4 Crits


March 11 Crits


March 18 Spring Break


March 25 Crits


April 1 Crits


April 8 Crits


April 15 Crits


April 16 (Wednesday) Final prints of all required drawings due at 1:00 pm


May 6 FINAL REVIEW, technical report due

(You may not pin up anything that

was not handed in on April 16)





Drawings can be either in ink or pencil as long as they are clearly legible when printed. Please note that you must display prints of your drawings, not the originals, at the final review. All drawings should be drawn on sheets of the same size.




Typical Floor Plan: 1/8"= 1'-0"

Label the structural system and materials, core elements, HVAC com-

ponents, etc.


Building Section: 1/8"= 1'-0"

Label the structural system and materials, building enclosure system

and materials, HVAC components, etc.


Building Envelope Cut-Away or Exploded Axonometric: 3/4"= 1'-0"

This drawing should clearly illustrate the relationship between

the building envelope (including the interior finishing), the structure

and the HVAC system. Label building enclosure materials, structural

and HVAC components. Key in large scale details on this drawing


Detail Cut-Away or Exploded Axonometrics: 3"= 1'-0"

Draw two building envelope details as requested by your critic. or larger

This drawing should illustrate the relationship of the building envelope

to the structure. Label all components and materials.


Building Envelope Detail Model: (alternate requirement) 3"= 1'-0"

This model may be substituted for one of the detail axonometrics and or larger

should illustrate the same information as the detail drawings.


Structural Free Body Diagram (FBD): No scale

Draw exploded axonometric FBD illustrating the wind resistance

and gravity resistance systems.


HVAC System Diagram: No scale

Draw an axonometric diagram illustrating the vertical and horizontal

distribution and return system.




Submit a report describing the building envelope, the structural system and the HVAC system of your building. For clarity, the description of each system should be keyed and cross referenced to your drawings. The report should be in 8 1/2 x 11 format and turned in at the final review. The report should cover the following:



statement of architectural idea/intention

architect's attitude regarding utilitarian building systems (accommodation, integration, synthesis) and examples illustrating this attitude


Structural System:



                    method of distributing gravity and wind loads

                    system choice rationale

                    relationship to architectural intention

                    relationship to building envelope and HVAC system


HVAC System:


                    description of system operation and fluid distribution

                    system choice rationale

                    relationship to architectural intention


Building Envelope:

                    wall type and materials

                    method of wind load transfer

                    method of gravity load transfer

                    method of preventing water infiltration

                    roofing system

                    relationship to architectural intention



        construction sequence