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Name three site considerations in regards to architectural design.

1) The design requires an appropriate relationship between the structure and its site.

2) The design should respond to the natural characteristics of the site: its form, climate, solar orientation, natural vegetation, and existing structures.

3) The design should be placed in the landscape to be seen, conversely, views of the surrounding landscape should be visible from the building.


Describe five concerns regarding site functionality that an architect should address.

1) The design should server the purpose it is intended to serve and function properly.

2) The design should express the purpose it serves.

3) The design should use an economy of means to achieve its purpose.

4) The design should utilize technologies ingeniously.

5) The design should utilize materials properly.


During programming, what aspects of spatial design should be taken into consideration?

The design must have a human scale, in both its material parts and its spaces, and in its interior and exterior.

The design should utilize the familiar and commonplace building techniques of it local.

The design should be graceful in shape and massing.

The design should exhibit a degree of exuberance (expression); it is an assertive act.

The design should exhibit a priority or hierarchy of parts.

The design should offer the human eye a visually rich and interesting field of view.

The design should establish a relationship between interior and exterior spaces.


Architects are required to conduct themselves in accordance with the moral code established in the Architect's Practice Act. Name at least three moral values essential to well-thought-out design.

The design should have integrity, honesty, and wholeness throughout.

The design should be expressive of the human spirit.

The design should be regarded as an opportunity to demonstrate the basic principles of Architecture.

The design should have an encompassing physical design concept.

The design should be a physical place or spatial forum that encourages human contact.

The design should be a space in which activity, interaction, and accomplishments take place.

Architectural space, therefore, facilitates a broad range of human activities; it does not prescribe or limit them.


Describe how a site can influence a form of a building.

Site: There should be a relationship between the site and its' buildings. A strong site may require buildings that blend into the landscape. The forms of the building should be inspired by the forms of the site. The roof might mimic the surrounding mountains, or draw colors from the landscape.

Landscape: The form could draw inspiration from the surrounding trees, landscape and vegetation.

Climate: The specific climate should affect the overall form, especially the location of windows, thickness of the walls and the way the building sheds rainwater or snow.


Describe how ground slope can affect the design of your project site.

Relatively flat sites require less grading and excavation, greatly reducing foundation costs and complexity.

The slope of the site also determines the amount of rainwater that can be absorbed by the soil, the areas appropriate for driveways or parking and the access to natural light and views.


Name at least three site features that may need to be preserved on a site.

Landforms (terracing, berms, grading)

Vegetation (trees, shrubs, fields)

Circulation Systems (paths, roads, parking)

Water Features (fountains, streams, ponds)

Furnishings and Fixtures (lights, benches, fences)

Decorative Elements (sculptures, monuments)

Subsurface Archeology (soils, historical artifacts)


What are five methods for preserving features on the site?

Stabilizing, protecting and preserving existing features.

Minimize disturbance of terrain.

Surveying and conducting filed investigations.

Evaluating conditions of existing features.

Repairing and/or replacing site features.


Describe the Neighborhood Concept.

The largest use of land for residential needs.

Designing a well-balanced and useful neighborhood benefits the community as a whole.

Live, work, education and recreation should all be located within a close proximity to one another.


According to Clarency Perry, what 6 elements must exist for a neighborhood to function properly?

1) No major traffic routes pass through the neighborhood.

2) Interior streets use a cul-de-sac and curvilinear layout.

3) Population of neighborhood determined by number of people required to support one elementary school.

4) Elementary school becomes focal point of neighborhood.

5) Neighborhood occupies approximately 160 acres at a density of 10 families per acre.

6) neighborhood is served by shopping centers, churches, etc. and does not require further than a half mile walk to school.


How does the Neighborhood Unit differ from the Neighborhood Theory?

Three Neighborhood groups together, serve one high school.

Maximum walking distance is one mile.

Many neighborhoods can be grouped together to form larger communities.


Describe three land patterns that have developed due to urban growth.

Concentric Pattern: series of rings around a central business district.

Sector Pattern: land usage arranged in pie wedges radiating from city center.

Multiple Nuclei Pattern: city composed of several distinct central points.


What three main forms are most modern cities based on?

Finger Plan: development occurs along each side of a public transit corridor.

Cluster Plan: development contains clusters of activity; major roads connect each cluster.

Satellite Plan: variant of cluster plan but has a dominant center, often the original city.


What are four site conditions that can affect the microclimate of a site?

Site Latitude: areas closer to the Equator are warmer than those further away.

Site Elevation: The height above sea level affects rain and snow fall as well as temperature.

Prevailing Winds: depending on the location, winds on a site can impact air temperature.

Proximity to Water: bodies of water provide humidity and can help maintain site temperatures.

Proximity to Mountains: mountains direct prevailing winds to rise, which cools them and forms clouds.

Topography: steep sloping sites can increase wind velocity thus decreasing site temperature.


What site elements can be studied to determine the effect of the microclimate on the site?

Location of plants and bodies of water.

Amount and location of sun exposure.

Prevailing wind patterns.

Ground surface coverage.


Why is solar orientation important when laying out a site design?

The more perpendicular the sun's rays are to the site, the greater the amount of solar radiation received.

It is important to note the amount of sola radiation received in order to design a building that maintains a consistent internal temperature.


What factors of sun radiation should be taken into consideration when designing a site?

Time of Day: how much sun is received on site in the morning compared to the afternoon.

Azimuth: The angle between the sun and the horizon. Summer sun has a larger azimuth than Winter sun.

Duration of Sun Exposure: sites in the Northern Hemisphere have more hours of sunlight in the summer than in the winter.

Slope of Site: ground slope affects the amount of solar energy the site receives.


What climatic considerations should be evaluated during site design?

Temperature: comfort zone ranges between 63-71 degrees in winter and 66-75 degrees in the summer.

Humidity: comfort zone ranges between 30-60% relative humidity.

Solar Radiation: lack of natural lighting in winter can cause depression.

Air Movement: breezes promote evaporation thus maintaining consistent humidity levels.

Air Pollution: Natural weather patterns can magnify the effects of man-made pollution.


How does the level of the water table on the site affect the design of the foundation?

If the water table is located less than 6' below the surface, this is considered high and will limit foundation design.

A mat slab or pile foundation may be necessary in order to evenly distribute the loads of the building on site.


What is the best way to provide internal comfort in a building during a hot, summer day?

Use large overhangs to shade the house from the southern and western sun for most of the day.

Inside, use thick concrete walls to absorb the heat.


How is a space heated at night during the winter if it contains thick concrete walls and floors and has large windows facing south?

The low winter sun warms the south side of the house all day. A stone or concrete floor stores up the heat. Hot air is allowed to build up by the ceiling.

Stored heat in the floor and walls is released during the night, to keep the house comfortable.


Describe the five basic fundamentals of physics that affect internal building comfort.

Hot Air Rises: Placing vents or windows in the correct location can help create cool breezes.

High Summer Sun: Well positioned overhangs can shade the home and keep it cooler in the summer.

Low Winter Sun: The sunlight passes under any overhangs to reach into the home and keep it warm.

Thermal Mass: Heavy mass materials (such as concrete, stone, brick or even water) store heat and cold. When the temperature changes, these materials release the stored temperature back into the air.

Insulation: A well-insulated building is required in order to hold in the interior temperature and keep out the outside one.


What is fenestration and how should this element be considered in regards to building design?

Fenestration refers to openings in a building such as windows and doors.

Glass is a poor insulator. Heat escapes through glass about 20 times greater than through an insulated wall.

However, natural daylight through windows and skylights will reduce the need for artificial lighting, saving electricity and eliminating the heat from the light bulbs.


How does proper building siting affect the views for a project?

Buildings can also be sited to create an axis to draw your eyes toward the view and enclose the outdoor space.

Undesirable views can be avoided by locating service or utility spaces to face or block them.


Describe how maintaining a well-organized building design will help the project run smoothly.

Certain activities may want to be centrally located (elevators, bathrooms, etc.).

Spaces used by a majority of the people may be placed up front (lobby, reception), while specialized purposes may be put further back (conference room).


What considerations should be given for interior building materials?

Using interior materials with low or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) will help maintain the air quality within the building.

The materials most susceptible to off-gassing VOCs include paint, carpet, adhesives in cabinetry and wood work and upholstery.


What is the formula for ground slope?

g = V/H (100)

g: the grade or slope
V: the rise, or vertical distance
H: the run, or horizontal distance


How does R-Value differ from U-Value?

The insulating value of a window is measured in U-Value, which is actually just 1/R-Value.

U-Value is the inverse of R-Value, the lower the U-Value, the more insulation value it has.


Describe thermal mass and its importance to building design.

The ability of a material to store temperature is referred to as thermal mass.

If insulation is how a material is able to hold in temperature, thermal mass is the ability of a material to absorb and store temperature.

Since these materials take a long time to heat up and cool down, we can use high thermal mass materials to help keep the building a consistent and regular temperature.


Name two methods to incorporating passive cooling into a building.

Arrange windows to encourage wind flow through the space and allow ample ventilation.

Use a "thermal chimney," a tall, vented space that directs rising heat up and out of a space and allows cool air to enter below (also called the stack effect).