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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE5845M Design Studio 4.2

50 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

CIVE5860M - Architectural Engineering Design Studio 4.2 (Proof of Concept)

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Typical reading materials 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.Various IStructE, SCI, Concrete Centre, TRADA, ICE and IMS guides on the use of the structural Eurocodes.


Knowledge developed in this module includes appreciation and understanding of advanced 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. the need to critically review precedents relevant to the function, organisation and technological strategy of design proposals; GC7.1.
6. 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
7. strategies for building construction, and ability to integrate knowledge of structural principles and construction techniques;GC8.2
8. understand the cost control mechanisms which operate during the development of a project; GC10.2.
9. 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 community resource 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 this and previous years.

On a given site previously studied in semester 1, students develop their analysis of the site and surroundings, including historical development, social and economic context, architectural and urban design issues, planning and policy guidance, as well as physical conditions such as ground conditions, flood risk and development hazards from adjoining uses. Precedent studies allow an understanding of the building type to be developed, with a critical interpretation of its definition. Students use this process to create their own more detailed version of the project brief.

From this detailed vision of activity on the site, one of the semester 1 concept schemes is developed further and then taken forward to become an integrated design, demonstrating a synthesis of creative spatial, aesthetic and technical aspects as a unified architectural scheme. This includes a detailed structural scheme with material specification, general arrangement, foundation design, stability strategy with supporting calculations. A thermal model is made, from which energy balance values for the building are derived. Sample construction details show how form and materials are brought together to satisfy technical and aesthetic requirements. The design scheme is presented by students using six A1 sheets to show the integrated scheme using excellent graphic communication skills. This is backed up through the use of physical models, sketchbooks and an illustrated report document.

From a given brief, students are tasked with investigating, challenging, critically evaluating and developing the scope and purpose of building design solutions, using site and precedent research. Students work individually to produce presentation materials describing their conclusions, including CAD and building information modelling techniques, drawn media, written design statements and physical models. Design elements explored through a process of critical evaluation include spatial and aesthetic organisation, structural considerations including sub- and superstructure, building physics issues, health & safety, construction process and detailing issues.

The detailed structural design content will vary depending on the student's design but will typically include elements of super-structure including but not limited to pre- or post-tensioned concrete flooring systems; cable-supported roofing systems; curtain walling; elements of structural glass construction; structural timber design including glulam and CLT; structural masonry (including reinforced masonry); temporary stability considerations and elements of sub-structure such as earth retention systems (e.g. bored pile walling); piled foundations, raft foundations, etc., as appropriate to the student's chosen design solution.

Students will also be required to develop a dynamic thermal model for their building design to examine heating and cooling loads, appropriate ventilation strategies (mechanical and/or natural); an air supply strategy and the overall energy performance of the building design.
Structural or environmental computational modelling must be verified by carrying out correct order to magnitude checks.

The design proposals and design statements developed by the students' will include a construction method statement (including a construction hazard risk assessment). Overall the design proposals must show evidence of the integration of architecture, construction process, environmental services and structural engineering principles.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning42.008.00
Private study hours446.00
Total Contact hours54.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)500.00

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 evaluation of information. Group and individual development of creative & technical design ideas, conclusions, presentation materials.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through regular small group and individual (1-to-1) tutorial sessions. Also through an interim review of the student's work carried out by the supervisory team of staff and students.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportDesign report70.00
PracticalPhysical scale model of building10.00
Poster PresentationPresentation Boards20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:52:56


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