Building Technology
taught 2008 - 2013

I have designed an intellectually-challenging introduction to building technology course that balances fundamental and applied concepts, using a mixture of topical lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on, experiential learning exercises in the field. Technical projects assigned in the course are designed to tightly align with students’ concurrent studio-based projects in order to inculcate the inseparability of the practical from the poetic in building design.

The coursework below represents the two most-recently taught semesters of Building Technology I (not including the current semester, Fall 2016), which were Fall 2012 and Fall 2013.

Course Abstract:

The arrangement of a building’s component parts – in plan, section and elevation – and equally, its method of construction – or the proper assembly of its parts – is central to the design of a beautiful, durable, and therefore sustainable building.

2012 | 2013

2012

Course Materials

Projects

Examples of student work: Environmental and Site Analysis assignment, Project #2 and Project #3

Tours and Events

Masonry Day 2012

Now in its 9th straight year (2016), Masonry Day is an annual event that I have co-organized with our sponsors, the International Masonry Institute, the local Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers (BAC) Union, and Kuert Concrete, Inc., to give students firsthand exposure to the craft of masonry. For this day long design-build event, the architecture students are provided with 400 standard bricks to carry out their design of a small masonry structure. The architecture students are paired with masonry apprentices from the BAC who teach the architecture students fundamental masonry construction techniques and trowel skills. Through this exercise, the architects gain an appreciation for the skill involved in the laying of masonry – and the years of training required. Meanwhile, both apprentice and student discover the kind of communication and collaboration that is necessary between the design and field trades in order to achieve a successful built project. The event culminates with a jury of invited local practitioners who give out awards for best design and craftsmanship.

Architecture students and masonry apprentices from the local branch of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers Union work side-by-side to construct students’ design proposals for a small masonry memorial.

Stayer Center Tour

Each year, I work with the University Architect’s Office at Notre Dame to organize tours of active construction sites around campus to reinforce what we are learning in class and to expose the students to the complexity of construction. In 2012, our tour of the Stayer Center for Executive Education coincided with lecture-based instruction on the various types of masonry wall construction, which the students were able to see underway at the Stayer Center – a cavity wall construction – while interior partition walls, services, and finishes were being simultaneously installed.

The class, which was divided in two groups for the tour, assembled before leaving for the job-site; discovering how big buildings “work”; students talking to the construction lead.

2013

Course Materials

Projects

Examples of student work: Fundamental Tectonics Analysis; Connections & Penetrations Detail #2; and Technical Wall Section, Final Project

Tours and Events

Teamwork and Timber

Working with the National Barn Alliance (NBA) and master timber framer, Rick Collins (Trillium Dell Timberworks), we brought the NBA’s quarter-scale Midwest Barn Model to Notre Dame for a hands-on opportunity to learn about traditional timber frame construction and joinery. During the combined education and outreach event, Notre Dame the Building Technology students assembled the NBA barn and then guided the 4th grade class from a local, inner-city primary school in the same exercise (see video below).

Building Tech students complete the end bent; the 4th graders celebrate completion of the model with their architecture student mentors; building tech student, George Fillion, works with Madison Primary Academy student to assemble the braced bent.

Video produced by Notre Dame’s Office of Community Affairs to highlight the outreach portion of the event, which included the sophomore architecture students and select fourth and fifth year architecture students, as well.


Marvin Window Install

In collaboration with the Architecture and the Building Arts Concentration, we invited several representatives from the building industry to demonstrate the installation of a window assembly in a framed wall, and all of the critical materials, steps, and details that are involved. The partial wall model used in the demonstration was constructed by the students in the Architecture and Building Arts Concentration. After the window installation demonstration, the Building Arts students installed architraves and completed exterior and interior cladding on the model, which has become a useful study model for all of our students at the School of Architecture. Sponsors: Marvin Windows, Tyvek Co., and Big C Lumber (South Bend, Indiana).

Tyvek Co. representative describing waterproofing system to combined classes; Prof. Kevin Buccellato instructing proper building wrap installation (student: Gabe Jacobs); Building Technology student cutting Tyvek at window opening


Masonry Day 2013

Now in its 9th straight year (2016), Masonry Day is an annual event that I have co-organized with our sponsors, the International Masonry Institute, the local Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers (BAC) Union, and Kuert Concrete, Inc., to give students firsthand exposure to the craft of masonry. For this day long design-build event, the architecture students are provided with 400 standard bricks to carry out their design of a small masonry structure. The architecture students are paired with masonry apprentices from the BAC who teach the architecture students fundamental masonry construction techniques and trowel skills. Through this exercise, the architects gain an appreciation for the skill involved in the laying of masonry – and the years of training required. Meanwhile, both apprentice and student discover the kind of communication and collaboration that is necessary between the design and field trades in order to achieve a successful built project. The event culminates with a jury of invited local practitioners who give out awards for best design and craftsmanship.

Architecture students and masonry apprentices from the local branch of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers Union work side-by-side to construct students’ design proposals for a small masonry memorial. The design-build exercise culminates in a juried competition between architecture/apprentice teams for Best Design and Best Craftsmanship.

All Courses

2016

Design VI
ARCH 41121 & AME 4743
Interdisciplinary Research and Design Studio

  • Collaborative Studio (students):
  • 8 Architecture
  • 8 Mechanical Engineering

2015

Design VI
ARCH 41121 & AME 4743
Interdisciplinary Research and Design Studio

  • Collaborative Studio (students):
  • 8 Architecture
  • 7 Mechanical Engineering
  • 1 Civil Engineering

ARCH 67611
Special Research in Sustainable Design and Building Technology

2014

Design VI
ARCH 41121 & AME 4743
Interdisciplinary Research and Design Studio

  • Collaborative Studio (students):
  • 9 Architecture
  • 4 Mechanical Engineering

ARCH 67611
Special Research in Sustainable Design and Building Technology

2013

Design VI
ARCH 41121
Interdisciplinary Research and Design Studio

  • Collaborative Studio:
  • ND Dept of Biological Sciences
  • ND Dept of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
  • ND Environmental Change Inititative
  • St. Patrick’s County Park

ARCH 20411
Introduction to Building Technology

ARCH 67611
Special Research in Sustainable Design and Building Technology

2012

Design VI
ARCH 41121
Interdisciplinary Research and Design Studio

  • Collaborative Studio:
  • R. Smith, University of Utah Integrated Technology and Architecture Center
  • ND Dept of Biological Sciences
  • ND Dept of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
  • ND Environmental Change Inititative
  • St. Patrick’s County Park

ARCH 20411 & ARCH 60411
Introduction to Building Technology

ARCH 67611
Special Research in Sustainable Design and Building Technology

2011

Design VI
ARCH 41121
Interdisciplinary Research and Design Studio

  • Collaborative Studio:
  • ND Dept of Biological Sciences
  • ND Dept of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
  • ND Environmental Change Inititative

ARCH 20411 & ARCH 60411
Introduction to Building Technology

ARCH 67611
Special Research in Sustainable Design and Building Technology

2010

Design VI
ARCH 41121
Interdisciplinary Research and Design Studio

  • Collaborative Studio:
  • F. Uvina, College of Architecture and Planning, University of New Mexico
  • the Town of Bernalillo, New Mexico
  • the Bernalillo Chapter of the Youth Conservation Corps
  • ND-CUSE

ARCH 20411 & ARCH 60411
Introduction to Building Technology

ARCH 67611 New Course
Special Research in Sustainable Design and Building Technology

2009

Design VI
ARCH 41121
Design Studio

ARCH 20411 & ARCH 60411
Introduction to Building Technology

Design VII
ARCH 71131
Integrated Design Studio

2008

ARCH 20411 & ARCH 60411
Introduction to Building Technology

Design VII
ARCH 71131
Integrated Design Studio