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  • Each person must come with an official or a photocopy of an official transcript from your university, and your Columbia ID. Transcripts printed form a website will not be accepted.

  • The university must be an NAAB accredited university

  • Only grades of A or B are accepted. Grades C+ or below are not accepted.

  • Each University group must have an official syllabus from the courses in question, so if you are missing one syllabus, perhaps a colleague has it. Without a syllabus, a course will not be waived. The syllabus must include a list of the material covered as a schedule, list, narrative or so on.

  • You must arrive with a completed course waiver sheet from the Admissions Office.

  • Distributional requirements (like Building Tech.) cannot be fulfilled by independent studies.

  • Requirements below are based on semester 3 credit courses. Other methods of crediting or other academic years (i.e. trimesters) will be considered individually.

  • The final decision for Building/Tech waivers is at the discretion of the Director. You may refer to the GSAPP course descriptions below to help you determine if you qualify for a waiver.


AT1 – Environments in Architecture

Architectural Technology 1 (AT1) addresses the fundamentals and the application of environmental control systems in buildings. Heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, and acoustics are discussed based on the physical laws that govern the exchange of energy between building and environment and how they relate to human comfort. Electrical, plumbing, fire protection and circulation are introduced in this context as required systems to make buildings fit for occupation. The goal of this course is to enable students to understand the interaction of natural and constructed environments in order to develop and quantify appropriate responses that create comfortable and efficient buildings. Through the focus of this course on the dynamic relationship of external environmental forces, building, and occupants students will learn how to manipulate this relationship through building form and orientation, construction and materiality, as well as mechanical, electrical and hydronic systems. The ability and confidence in making both quantitative and qualitative statements about building performance will help students to integrate these considerations into their future design work and enable them to develop design solutions that are derived from fundamental principles.

AT 2 – Structures in Architecture

Architectural Technology 2 (AT2) provides an in-depth look and understanding of what “structural design” means, and how it is carried out. Students will gain familiarity with basic elemental forms, structural assemblies and systems, and new and emerging materials. Through project-based and hands-on work students will gain an intuitive understanding of structure, empowering them to integrate into architectural concepts a level of structural coherence and technical inspiration that allows load resisting systems to both perform and intensify the spatial experience. The class we will focus on the contemporary building environment, with modern materials, analytical methods and construction techniques at our disposal. The class will seek out and study examples of building systems from the 20th and 21st Century where the building form and aesthetic involves, and in many cases is driven by the chosen structural form. The class will critically assess structural forms ranging from fundamental to novel and seek to determine the drivers for the selected form, exploring how these forms reflect our collective definition of structural efficiency. Through individual and group work, students will establish the behavior of structural forms analytically through first principles and computational analysis.

AT 3 – Envelopes in Architecture

Architectural Technology 3 (AT3) explores the design of building skins to comply with a set of requirements while turning an architectural concept to a finished system product. Potential material and systems will be explored for different areas of the building that satisfy the architectural and functional constraints along with these performance goals. The lectures will focus on case studies of real projects that have utilized integrated envelope design as well as tools to optimize the envelope shape and the material assemblies. The aim of the course is to teach students the process of defining an envelope strategy while conceiving complex geometry systems and to give an overview of the different parties involved in the decision making process in the New York, American, and overseas markets.

AT 4 – Integrated Design : Building Scale

Architectural Technology 4 (AT4) is a workshop and lecture series in which students develop a design proposal with integrated technical systems. Structural form, environmental systems, materials, construction methods and fire protection elements are developed systematically and integrated with one another. This class is the capstone course of the Master of Architecture Technology curriculum sequence, where theoretical knowledge gained in previous courses is applied. Integrated Design: Building Scale brings together key areas of study from environmental systems, structural systems and enclosures. Concepts and principles learned in these previous courses are applied to the comprehensive design of a fully detailed building.

AT4 Integrated Design: Building Scale forms the basis of a year-long exploration on integration across multiple scales in the built environment. While students will begin with building scale in the fall semester, the spring semester will build on this knowledge at the urban and city scale. Façade systems will be explored simultaneously in AT3 Envelopes in Architecture and work in this class will support the project work we will be doing in AT5 Integrated Design: Building Scale.

AT 5 – Integrated Design : Urban Scale

Architectural Technology 5 (AT5) is the second half of your experience developing proficiency with integrated design. Integrated Design: Urban Scale will follow a similar approach to Integrated Design: Building Scale, but will begin by zooming way out to study technical systems that operate outside the walls and the site of a building. Beginning at the city and regional scale students will consider the processes building users will undertake to move around the city and into the site. We will understand how the flows of water along the ground, from the sky, and underground may impact building design. Looking at where does electricity, natural gas, solar insolation, wind energy, and gasoline come from and what impacts do the consumption of these energies have on the world at-large. By progressively studying urban systems at an increasingly granular scale starting with the entire city, moving down to the neighborhood, site, and immediate building perimeter, a full understanding of the interplay between a building and multiple urban system will be developed. The first few weeks of the semester will constitute a rigorous urban systems analysis stage that will be used to form the basis of conceptual building design in the second half of the class. The class will expose students to current analysis, planning, and initial project conceptual practices based in technical disciplines beyond the perimeter of the building. Through a series of site visits to project sites in NYC students will experience how buildings fit into their urban surroundings and the systems that support buildings.