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Integrated Capstone Design in Architectural Engineering Curriculum

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Capstone Design

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.765.1 - 24.765.17



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Paper Authors


Ahmed Cherif Megri North Carolina A&T State University

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Dr. Ahmed Cherif Megri, Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering (AE). He teaches capstone, lighting, electrical, HVAC and energy design courses. He is the ABET Coordinator for the AE Program. His research areas include airflow modeling, zonal modeling, energy modeling, and artificial intelligence modeling using the support vector machine learning approach. Dr. Megri holds a PhD degree from INSA at Lyon (France) in the area of Thermal Engineering and ”Habilitation” (HDR) degree from Pierre and Marie Curie University - Paris VI, Sorbonne Universities (2011) in the area of Engineering Sciences. Prior to his actual position, he was an Associate Professor at University of Wyoming (UW) and prior to that he was an Assistant Professor and the Director of the AE Program at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). He participated significantly to the development of the current architectural engineering undergraduate and master’s programs at IIT. During his stay at IIT, he taught thermal and fluids engineering (thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics), building sciences, physical performance of buildings, building enclosure, as well as design courses, such as HVAC, energy, plumbing, fire protection and lighting. Also, he supervises many courses in the frame of interprofessional projects (IPRO) program.

Areas of Interests:
- Zonal modeling approach,
- Integration zonal models/building energy simulation models,
- Zero Net Energy (ZNE) building,
- Airflow in Multizone Buildings & Smoke Control,
- Thermal Comfort & Indoor Air Quality,
- Predictive modeling and forecasting: Support Vector Machine (SVM) tools,
- Energy, HVAC, Plumbing & Fire Protection Systems Design,
- Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) Application in Building,
- BIM & REVIT: application to Architecture and Electrical/Lighting Design systems.

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Integrated Capstone Design in Architectural EngineeringAll Architectural Engineering students are required to complete a two capstone senior designproject course (AREN 485 Senior Project I and AREN 486 Senior Project II). The students workin groups on projects covering architectural design, structural design, mechanical design, andlighting/electrical design. These projects are open-ended and get a chance to pull together themany things they've learned in classes throughout their undergraduate degree. The classes aretaught by four instructors and judged by both instructors and practitioners.The senior capstone design course 1 (AREN 485 Senior Project I) requires a group projectinvolving a complete design that may contain a host of modules including architectural design,structural and foundation design, cost estimating, building mechanical and lighting/electricalsystem design, building occupancy and accessibility studies, elevator design, etc. The Capstonedesign course is a multi-disciplinary effort; and as such it may involve other disciplines inaddition to those in architectural engineering. As a minimum, the project always involves anarchitectural design, mechanical (HVAC), electrical and plumbing design, and lighting systemsdesign, structural and foundation design, and at least one other module such as cost estimating,construction scheduling, green building and sustainable concept design, etc.Within the senior capstone design course 2 (AREN 486 Senior Project II) students are dividedinto two offices or more, each office is divided into design groups, and each group is responsibleof only one design component: architecture, structure, HVAC and Lighting/electrical. An officestandard prepared by the department of civil and architectural engineering is distributed over thestudents.This paper proposes a curricular paradigm which allows students to work in groups on a single,large, real-world problem over multiple terms. Experiences and outputs from the course can beused to provide guidance and insights into curricular changes, teaching methods, and exposure tothe practice. It also helps in establishing durable connections with the industrial sector.Most importantly, project methodology will be discussed. We discuss the capstone designprogram from students’ point of view, and the experience earned in design, integration, and alsoin written and oral communication skills. Methodology used to evaluate the effectiveness of thecapstone design program in term of learning outcomes is also described.

Megri, A. C. (2014, June), Integrated Capstone Design in Architectural Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20657

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