Building Construction II

Teaching Assistant(s)
Ethan Schwartz

This course is concerned with questions of ‘how’ in architecture:

  • How are materials placed and joined?  
  • How are assemblies layered?
  • How can we achieve desired forms?
  • How can we control aesthetic and tactile qualities of a built work through construction processes?

We are especially interested in sectional drawings, as we peel away the layers of contemporary and historically significant buildings.

The first portion of the course is focused on major techniques for the assembly of structure: principally concrete, steel and wood. Subsequently, we study the bread-and-butter of architectural drawings: details of air-tightness, thermal and moisture control, claddings, and fenestration.  In March, we will explain the logic of the Building Codes, and introduce basic principles of fire separation and barrier-free design.  We will discuss options for controlling the interior environment of a building, and offer some basic strategies for coordinating the services that that weave through buildings. Near the end of term, we will take on more challenging aspects of building construction, including building in extreme environments, retrofitting historical buildings, and constructing very large buildings.We will regularly review examples from architects who have managed these complex requirements in clever and novel ways.