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Using The World Wide Web In An Architectural Engineering Design Course

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.488.1 - 2.488.6



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James E. Mitchell

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2606

Using the World Wide Web in an Architectural Engineering Design Course

James E. Mitchell Drexel University

Introduction For more than a year Drexel University’s Architectural Engineering Program has made extensive use of the World Wide Web (WWW) in a junior-level Architectural Engineering Design course. Both instructors and students have prepared virtually all their materials for presentation on the web. As with any new tool, there have been both difficulties and rewards. The intent of this paper is to communicate what we have learned.

Background All Junior Architectural Engineering students take a pair of courses, Architectural Engineering Design I & II(ArchEng 390, 391) which are their introduction to the design of engineering building systems. As course prerequisites they have taken at least two Architectural design studios. They have also had as pre- or co-requisites: introductions to structural engineering, HVAC fundamentals and electrical/lighting systems. Virtually all students are also experienced EMail users and are accustomed to using personal computers for word processing and analysis in their courses.

Drexel has full ethernet/appletalk wiring of all buildings including most laboratories as well and all dormitories. In addition we have several multi-media rooms which are readily scheduled for student presentations. The campus network has an internet connection and all laboratory computers used by the students taking ArchEng 390 are equipped with the necessary software described in this article.

Prior to the course revision of AY1995-96 described here the courses were taught as a series of design projects using both manual drawing and CAD drawings for presentation purposes as well as a variety of computer-based calculation tools (Excel, FrameMac, E-20 etc.) The essence of the course was, and still is, to develop an understanding buildings as a group of interconnected “systems” that may be designed in a fairly logical manner. The pedagogical approach has always been to build from examining examples of existing systems, to designing individual systems (architecture, structure, HVAC, electrical), ending in a complete, relatively complex, building incorporating all systems. Students have always found the course both challenging and rewarding.

What We Changed Beginning in AY95 we required use of the WWW as the primary presentation tool for documents prepared by students and professors in the class. All assignment information is now presented via web page and almost all student and faculty presentations are prepared and given using the web page as the primary organizing and presenting tool.1 EMail is used extensively to announce changes to assignments and to answer questions of general interest, and a collaborative writing tool is used within the class for brainstorming activities.2

Mitchell, J. E. (1997, June), Using The World Wide Web In An Architectural Engineering Design Course Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6891

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