Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE3871 Design Studio 3.2

30 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Mr Justin Lunn ARB

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

The standard qualifications (or equivalent) set by the School of Civil Engineering for entry to any of its JBM accredited UG programmes.

Module replaces

CIVE3851 - Architectural Engineering Design Studio 3.2

This module is not approved as a discovery module


This module will demonstrate the students’ ability to create architectural designs that satisfy both aesthetic and technical requirements.

Knowledge developed in this module includes an appreciation and understanding of theoretical design concepts as applied to practical design consideration; further development of an understanding relating cultural and technological context to the built environment; a wider understanding of building types and precedent. There is also knowledge gained relating to statutory regulations including the processes of planning policy and building control, as well as a critical appraisal of structural, building physics and construction approaches. These appraisals of technologies are developed into specific proposals.

Learning outcomes
Students completing this module will have gained the knowledge, understanding, skills or abilities that contribute to achieving the following ARB General Criteria for Part 1:
1. prepare and present building design projects of diverse scale, complexity, and type in a variety of contexts, using a range of media, and in response to a brief; GC1.1.
2. understand the constructional and structural systems, the environmental strategies and the regulatory requirements that apply to the design and construction of a comprehensive design project; GC1.2.
3. develop a conceptual and critical approach to architectural design that integrates and satisfies the aesthetic aspects of a building and the technical requirements of its construction and the needs of the user; GC1.3.
4. the application of appropriate theoretical concepts to studio design projects, demonstrating a reflective and critical approach; GC2.3.
5. current planning policy and development control legislation, including social, environmental and economic aspects, and the relevance of these to design development; GC4.3.
6. the need to critically review precedents relevant to the function, organisation and technological strategy of design proposals; GC7.1.
7. the need to appraise and prepare building briefs of diverse scales and types, to define client and user requirements and their appropriateness to site and context; GC7.2
8. the investigation, critical appraisal and selection of alternative structural, constructional and material systems relevant to architectural design; GC8.1.
9. understand the cost control mechanisms which operate during the development of a project; GC10.2.
10. prepare designs that will meet building users’ requirements and comply with UK legislation, appropriate performance standards and health and safety requirements; GC10.3.

Skills outcomes
Team working and collaboration in a creative context, individual graphic presentation skills, hand drawing, CAD modelling, building information modelling (BIM) and physical modelling skills. Site appraisal and precedent research skills.


This second semester project studio is a comprehensively integrated building design. A typical brief suggests a three or four storey office building of around 2,000m2 in a restricted urban setting. The project is designed to allow students to develop and explore their architectural design skills, while at the same time applying and demonstrating the learning they have gained from other modules in the year, including urban theory and technical design.

Students work in small groups to gather background information, for the site – including the urban context in terms of site analysis, population and economic activity in the local area, architectural character, historic development and regulatory frameworks such as local planning guidance, as well as assessments of construction risks, ground conditions. A precedent study is then made, to present information about the history of the building type, current ‘state of the art’ and recent design directions, key technical issues such as dimensional norms and why they are adopted, environmental control systems and the relative merits of different systems, appraisals of different constructional / structural strategies. These findings are presented to the rest of the group in an interactive seminar.

Students then work individually to develop their own interpretation of the deliberately open-ended brief. They have to challenge the given outline area and height in terms of appropriateness for the given setting and their own vision based on their ongoing background research, proposing a vision of what their interpretation of the building type is. From this, a detailed brief is developed and tested through the design process. As well as a creative vision, students develop technical solutions to the spatial and environmental requirements they propose, including a structural strategy and sample calculations, a building physics scheme with a simple thermal model and drawings of how these elements come together in sample construction details. Students work towards producing models, drawings and an illustrated report which describe the design scheme. The emphasis is very much on applying an integrated and concurrent approach to all aspects of design as a creative and technical unity.

Typical reading materials in support of this module include:
Ching, F. (1975 on). Architectural Graphics. Wiley.
Ching, F. (2007). Architecture – Form, Space and Order (3rd edition) Wiley.
Baker, N. and Steemers, K. (1999). Energy and Environment in Architecture: A Technical Design Guide. Taylor and Francis.
Chadderton, D.V (2010). Building Services Engineering.
de Saulles, T. (2000). An illustrated guide to building services: comfort systems. BRE.
McMullen, R. (2012) Environmental Science in Building (7th edition). London: Palgrave MacMillan.
Szokolay, S. V. (2010). Introduction to architectural science. The basis of sustainable design (2nd edition). Oxford: Architectural Press, Elsevier.
Addis, W. (1994). The Art of the Structural Engineer. Artemis, London.
Hilson, B. O. (1994). Basic structural behaviour. Understanding structures from models. London: Thomas Telford Limited.
Holdgate, A. (1986). The art in structural design. An introduction and sourcebook. Oxford University Press.
Morrison, H. (2014). Structural engineering art and approximation. Manchester: Hugh Morrison Associates.
Popovic Larsen, O. and Tyas, A. (2003). Conceptual structural design: bridging the gap between architects and engineers. London: ICE publishing.
Silver, P., McLean, W. and Evans, P. (2014) Structural Engineering for Architects: A Handbook. Laurence King.
Yeomans, D. (2009). How structures work. Design and behaviour from bridges to buildings. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning24.008.00
Private study hours254.00
Total Contact hours46.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Individual and group research for background studies, including: informal site surveys, precedent gathering from online, journal or book sources. Group and individual collation, analysis and critical evalulation of information. Group and individual development of creative design ideas, presentation materials.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through regular small group tutorial sessions.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportDesign report (including drawings, sketchbooks and a physical scale model)80.00
Group ProjectSite analysis presentation10.00
Group ProjectPrecedent study presentation10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resubmission of design report.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:52:55


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019