Spring 2001 / Grondzik

Assigned 11 January 2001 DUE: 3 April 2001

14 points


The objective of this project, which is a semester-long assignment, is to learn -- and convey -- as much information about a specific climate control, fire protection, or sanitation system element as reasonably possible. It is expected that you will work on this project regularly throughout the semester. Parallel investigations into various aspects would be a reasonable scheduling approach. Interim submission dates have been established as a means of providing feedback on the timeliness and appropriateness of your efforts.

The element (or thing) that you chose to study should be relatively restricted in scope -- as you will be expected to learn about the element in substantial depth. A fire sprinkler head, a fire extinguisher, a diffuser, a heating coil, a water closet, a VAV box, a thermostat, are examples of reasonable elements to select as the focus of this project. The element selected may also be a "condition" as opposed to an object; for example the dry-bulb air temperature, MRT, or the relative humidity in a specific space.

At the time this assignment is finally due, you will be expected to understand how the element (or condition) came to be, how it was selected or designed, how it was specified and installed, how it operates, how it interfaces with a larger system, etc. This knowledge will be conveyed to others in the form of a written report with appropriate illustrations. This assignment anticipates that at the time you submit your report you will know more about your selected element or condition than anyone else in the School of Architecture (including faculty, maintenance personnel, and/or contractors).

Each student will select the element (thing) that he/she will investigate. This element should be in (or adjacent to) the School of Architecture Building. It should be readily accessible for observation. It should be something you believe will provide for an interesting case study. The means of investigation will vary with the element selected for investigation. Some elements may lend themselves to intriguing on-site measurements with portable equipment (such as the temperature of a room or window frame); some elements may be best explored via interviews; some level of conventional (book, catalog, Internet) research is probably reasonable for most elements.

Any material copied directly from a printed or WWW resource must be clearly identified as such -- using quotation marks or italics, and noting the specific source and pages where the material was found. Such extracts may be used where appropriate, but should constitute only a small part of your final report.


16 January 2001: Identify the element that you will be studying for this project, including its exact location. Any written format will do.

23 January 2001: Submit an outline of your proposed case study investigation -- including a description of methodology for any measurements to be conducted. Any written format will do.

1 February 2001: 1st interim submission. Provide adequate content to permit meaningful feedback and useful commentary on your draft work. It is suggested that this be in "final" format, so that additional information can simply be added as the project develops. A word-processing format is recommended to facilitate revisions (but is not mandated).

1 March 2001: 2nd interim submission. Substantial content is expected to be provided in this submission to permit useful feedback/critique. As with the 1st interim submission above, if this is developed in "final" format, minor changes resulting from this review should be easily incorporated into the final submission.

3 April 2001: The final due date for your complete report.

Example of Project Expectations:

The following is a sample outline that might be used if a fluorescent lamp were selected as the thing adopted for this project. A lamp may NOT actually be selected, as it falls outside of the scope of this course. Further, this is simply an example -- creativity is encouraged, not just rote replication of a template.


Understanding the Lamp (Generically):

Understanding this Particular Lamp:

Other Investigative Findings:


Last updated 3 January 2001