Spring 2001 / Grondzik

Lectures: Tu & Th 9:30-10:45 am Room 004 Architecture Building

Laboratory: Th 8:00-9:15 am Room 004 Architecture Building

4 credit hours

INSTRUCTOR: Walter T. Grondzik, PE; Professor

e-mail: [do NOT leave messages on the office phone, they will not be answered]

Office hours: Tu & Th immediately following class -- as requested
[this is, unfortunately, very limited, but necessary since SOA faculty do not have real offices this semester]

COURSE CONTENT: This course will focus on building elements that may be broadly (but not exclusively) classified as "mechanical" systems. Although "mechanical systems" provides a short and simple course title, many of the issues that will be covered are fundamentally architectural in nature. Several passive systems typically designed by architects will be considered. Climate control, fire protection, and sanitation systems will be addressed during the semester. The course syllabus (schedule) provides a detailed outline of course content.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: "Mechanical" systems play an important role in virtually all types of buildings. These systems substantially affect building costs (both first and life-cycle), performance, and safety. Ultimately, mechanical system performance may be a primary determinant of owner and occupant perceptions of building success. It is critical that the architectural graduate have a sufficient understanding of mechanical systems to permit their proper utilization and integration in building designs. In general terms, this course is intended to develop a functional understanding of building mechanical systems and their use in typical building types. More specifically, the course will provide an introduction to basic systems, system functions, major components, key design concepts and techniques, and system integration concerns.

COURSE OUTCOMES: A student who successfully completes this course should -- with respect to climate control, fire protection and sanitation systems:

PREREQUISITES: Successful completion (with a passing grade) of ARC 2470 (Introduction to the Technology of Architecture) and admission to third-year standing in the School of Architecture.

COURSE FORMAT: ARC 3682 is at heart a lecture-format course. Learning will likely occur primarily as a result of instructor-student interactions in class and laboratory. Required reading selections have been chosen and assigned to provide background knowledge to facilitate such interactions. Discussion of ideas developed in this course and their application to "architecture" is strongly encouraged -- both within and outside of class. The laboratory sessions will be used to develop and discuss issues and concepts beyond those addressed in lecture. Applications of selected concepts will be developed through assignments.

Understanding the systems presented and discussed in this course, and their connection to the broader arena of architecture, truly requires that your reflect upon the potential applications for such systems in the buildings that you have and will design. You are encouraged to engage the concepts presented in class -- as opposed to simply reacting to the lectures and/or readings.

ATTENDANCE: Classes will start on time. Regular class attendance is expected. A record of each student=s attendance will be maintained, with cumulative attendance patterns affecting the overall course grade. A pattern of disregard for regular class attendance, and/or failure to attend in a timely manner, will result in a reduced attendance grade. Each absence will result in the deduction of 5 points from an initial attendance grade of 105.

TIME & MONEY: In addition to typical University tuition and book expenses, nominal additional costs will be incurred for materials and supplies required for the completion of assignments/projects. Transportation costs for local site visits may be incurred -- if opportunities for such visits develop. It is assumed, in a professional program such as Architecture, that each student will spend around 3 hours per week per credit hour on out-of-class activities (such as reading, assignments, studying, or preparing for exams). For this 4 credit course, that means 12 hours of out-of-class work per week. The development and/or refinement of efficient and effective study and work skills will greatly improve participants= educational outcomes.

GRADING: Multiple measures will be used to assess student performance in this course. A grasp of "facts" will be tested via exams and quizzes. The ability to apply information in design situations will be assessed via assignments (and, to some extent, exams). Maintenance of a professional approach to learning and the ability to connect class discussion to real-world and design environments will also be considered.

Approximately 10 unannounced quizzes -- usually given at the beginning of class at the instructor's discretion -- will cover materials from recent lectures and/or current readings. These quizzes are a means of checking each student's progress in completing required reading assignments and in digesting information presented in lectures; they will focus on current issues, as opposed to comprehensive or retrospective concerns. In addition, the quizzes are intended to serve as an incentive for regular class attendance and timeliness. A pattern of absences, lateness, or unpreparedness will reduce the quiz grade.

Exam One and Exam Two will be non-comprehensive, each covering approximately five weeks of course material. The Final Exam will be primarily non-comprehensive, but will include several questions requiring a comprehensive understanding and application of course materials.

Regular class attendance (including laboratory sessions) and assignment submission are considered a minimum foundation for successful course completion.

Although no fixed evaluation weight is assigned to "discussion," activity in this area will add to one's grade (and understanding of materials). The instructor reserves the right to call on any student by name to discuss current materials during lecture or laboratory sessions as a means of inducing discussion. Active participation during laboratory sessions is expected of all students and failure to participate in lab will negatively affect one=s grade.

The overall semester course grade will be based upon a cumulative tabulation of the various individual performance items described above, weighted as per the following schedule:

REQUIRED READING: Required readings (see syllabus) are generally from Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, 9th Edition: Stein and Reynolds, John Wiley, New York, 2000. Specific reading assignments are noted by page numbers. Other readings, noted as Reserve A, B and so on, may be found in a Course Notebook kept on reserve at the service desk in the Architecture Library. This notebook also contains sample exams. Required readings are to be read prior to the class meeting to which they relate.

ASSIGNMENTS: Several assignments will be made during the semester. Each will be described in writing and will have a specific due date. Assignments will be discussed in class (lecture or lab) at the time they are assigned. Work must be submitted in a format that reflects your status as a student in a professional architecture program -- this implies neat, legible, logically-organized work, and excludes torn or ragged sheets of paper, unintelligible writing, and/or indecipherable spelling. Specific data sources and/or other documentation used to complete assignments must be clearly noted. Presentation quality will affect grading -- as will the accuracy and completeness of content. Any scheduled assignment that is submitted late will be assessed a late penalty as follows: up to 7 days late -- 5% of the earned grade per day (or partial day) of lateness; more than 7 days late -- NO credit. Consistently late work will seriously affect your course grade; submitting one assignment late is not big deal if there is a need to juggle time demands. As with attendance and quizzes, patterns of behavior are more important than individual instances.

COURSE MANAGEMENT POLICIES: Submission of all course assignments is expected and all work is due on time. No work of any kind will be accepted after 5:00 pm on the last day of classes, unless specifically noted otherwise. Exams must be taken at the times announced, unless absence for reasonable cause is authorized in advance or verified after-the-fact by an official emergency medical excuse. Missed quizzes may be taken only upon receipt of a valid excuse. Requests for extra-credit or compensatory work to make up for missing assignments or quizzes will not be considered. In fairness to other students in the course, in order to properly schedule reviews of exams and assignments, and as a means of fostering a professional attitude toward planning and scheduling work, due dates for all assignments will be rigidly enforced.

Group discussion of course assignments is acceptable and is encouraged . Such discussion, which can be very educational, has its limits, however. Any work submitted for grading must be the individual product of the student who submits the work -- reflecting a personal exercise of judgement regarding accuracy, quality, and completeness. Copying another's work for submission as your own is grounds for a failing grade and the basis for potential referral to School of Architecture academic honesty grievance procedures.

If unforeseen and/or uncontrollable circumstances during the semester make it impossible for you to fully participate in course activities as scheduled, such a situation must be brought to the instructor's attention immediately -- delayed requests for compassionate consideration will not be accepted. Any request for deviation from published due dates must be made in a timely manner and be agreed to in writing.


This WWW site makes all course materials(with minor exception) available online, 24 hours a day -- including the course syllabus, laboratory schedule, course information, assignments, most reserve readings, sample exams, exam keys, and solutions to quizzes. Because of Florida A&M University's restrictive Internet policies and meager resources, this site is not provided or supported by the School of Architecture or the University. Nevertheless, enjoy. The online course syllabus and laboratory schedule include hot links to supplemental resources that might be of assistance or interest. These links are not included in the hard copy syllabus; they are not part of the required reading assignments.

GRADING COMMENTARY: Experience shows that only rarely does a student not pass this course because he/she simply can not grasp the materials. The majority (90% +) of students who do not pass this course do so because they choose (either voluntarily or by default) to not fully participate in the course -- skipping classes, missing quizzes, not submitting assignments (or submitting work consistently late). Such behavior quickly brings the "Law of Zeros" into play. The Law of Zeros is really quite simple -- a zero does not average well. Zeros wreak havoc on grade averages; the work quickly and aggressively. Zeros make no sense -- although they are a totally appropriate evaluation for no effort. Participate in this course fully and consistently -- or do not take the course until you can give it your full attention.

Last updated 8 January 2001