In this article, we will take a brief look at architectural technology. First, let’s start with a classic question. What exactly is architectural technology? The architectural technology industry is a dynamic and continuously transforming sector that carries much weight in the current built environment. In coming up with new ideas for creating, constructing, and maintaining structures, this multifaceted field blends design, engineering, and technology. The combination of different disciplines makes architectural technology very interesting. Architectural technology offers different fields of study. Whether your goal is to design sustainable buildings, manage BIM processes, or contribute to the future of construction, architectural technology can provide you with interesting future opportunities.

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Facade and Blue Sky_©Pixabay

Understanding How Buildings Work

The design, construction, and operation of buildings are dependent on architectural technology. This field is broad and includes matters relating to structural support, containment systems, climate and utilities, lighting, acoustics, and fire safety; thereby making it indispensable in all stages of building development, ranging from conception to operation and maintenance. Comprising several fields and bodies of knowledge, architecture brings together various disciplines to guarantee the successful establishment and operation of artificial environments. With the use of modern materials, creative design approaches, and laborious calculations, designers and constructors make buildings able to resist different loads and environments.

Structural

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Structural_©Scott Webb

Without structure, the building will not be functional or safe. Let’s discuss building technologies by looking into structure. It is essential to understand how the load is efficiently controlled by buildings. Construction that holds weight requires that columns, walls, and foundations are carefully positioned to resist gravity. To provide support for structures, columns lead the load downwards into the foundation as they rise vertically. Weight-bearing walls are an important component in this regard. The basic foundation of any building is foundations, they’re critical in distributing the load from the building onto the ground. Reinforced concrete and steel technologies have been part of the recent advancements in construction to enhance the capacity of these bearing elements hence creating taller and more sophisticated structures.

Structures require support for transferring loads horizontally. They do this through beams and frames. Beams act as horizontal members that transfer loads from floors, ceilings, and walls, to either columns in the form of slab or to walls themselves. The construction and materials of the beams need to be such that they have enough strength to prevent bending or twisting. Steel, reinforced concrete, and wood have been used as beam materials because they are strong and durable. Frames, which consist of beams and columns instead, make floors very robust because they carry vertical and horizontal forces creating an honest framework for the building. However, while designing frames, architects must consider several other forces, such as wind or earthquakes to avoid collapse or trembling.

Stability is provided by cages and arches and loads are spread over larger areas by them. Trusses are triangular units composed of frames that even load distribution as much as possible and can span long distances with little material. The usefulness of arches in bridging significant gaps without the need for supporting structures is exemplified by their use on top of buildings and bridges. They are some of the oldest architectural features present, and yet they are still commonly used thanks to their capacity to withstand large loads by compression. Their bending shapes help to transfer forces uniformly so that covered openings are formed.

Facade

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Facade_©veeterzy

Curtain walls, which are made up of glass, metal panels, or a variety of materials that do not support load, are the walls that hang like curtains from a building’s structural frame. They offer advantages including energy efficiency, natural light, and protection against harsh weather conditions as well as maintaining a modern trendy look. The design of curtain walls requires careful consideration of thermal performance, structural integrity, and ease of maintenance. High-performance glass with low-emissivity coatings, argon gas filling, and thermal insulation is widely used to increase energy efficiency and occupant comfort.

Commercial building exterior coverings are called cladding systems. They protect the building from both aesthetics and harm. For example, metal, stone, brick, or composite panels are among the many materials used for such cladding. Such systems should also handle heat expansion or contraction as well as stay strong under different environmental conditions according to the description given above. Rain screen systems hold moisture that helps to increase thermal performance and this is because they create a ventilated space by cladding and the structural wall of the building which is effective.

Chapter 3: HVAC Systems

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HVAC Systems_©Sergeri A

Temperature control services with a particular emphasis on the Heating Ventilation and Air conditioning systems are very critical in governing indoor environmental conditions for better living and good health. This piece delves into the technologies that can be applied to the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems, How they can be energy efficient, and thereafter considering the sustainability factor in climate control. HVAC systems are made for temperatures indoors to be comfortable and controlled by moisture and ventilation to be sufficient for people who occupy the industry space. For instance; there are a number of them with their technical names while others include but might not be limited to heating units, and ventilation fans for ductwork. Energy consumption becomes efficient using advanced technologies such as variable refrigerant flow systems (VRFs), heat pumps, and energy recovery ventilator (ERV) cells.

Service Infrastructure

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Service Infrastructure_©AMIROO HOSSEINI

Adequate pipe sizing, fixture selection, and drainage layouts are good design considerations that make sure reliable water supply is achieved together with efficient management of wastewater ensuring plumbing systems supply clean water for drinking, cooking, and sanitization, in addition to the elimination of waste waters. Utilising modern technologies such as low-flow fixtures, grey water recycling systems, and leak detection devices can promote water tightness and minimise costs on utilities.

Power is spread throughout the building by electric systems, it is used for lighting, equipment, and appliances. To take into account the electrical loads, guarantee that the building complies with the regulations, and provide adequate power distribution as well as backup systems, you must plan carefully. By installing efficient lighting fixtures, using an intelligent metering system, or integrating renewable sources in a bid to reduce energy consumption hence cost.

Heating, cooling, and ventilation systems help to maintain indoor comfort and air quality in a building. To work optimally and save energy, these systems must be designed properly with the correct selection for required equipment and regular maintenance. The live control or optimization of such systems can now be done through building automation systems (BAS) and remote monitoring which result in decreased wastage of energy and improved comfort.

Lighting and Acoustics

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Chapter 5: Lighting and Acoustics_©Pixabay

Creating welcoming spaces in both indoor and outdoor areas is only possible with perfect lighting design which is key. In the following piece, proper lighting design principles and technologies used to improve different environments are discussed. Good sound in indoor spaces is very essential for making peace. How one can manage sound so it doesn’t ruin comfort while talking about practical ideas related to acoustics is another part of this subsection. A fundamental requirement in being capable of making environments that are not only beautiful to the eyes, but also comfortable, and functional and foster human welfare is comprehending the laws governing illumination and sound. Within these sections, there are ideas on means as well as technologies that enhance design development. It is now possible to understand the principles of lighting and acoustics as well as develop them which could lead to new architectural solutions at a higher level thereby making peoples’ lives better.

Architectural technology is an umbrella term for the wide range of quantitative methods that act in concert to affect our environment visibly. Every component beginning with fundamental features like steel frame structures and finishing with details such as heat management over the entire year or what powers our homes is critical as far as the construction of secure, operational, and eco-friendly houses is concerned. Through this exploration, I have looked at how the practice of architectural technology marries architecture, engineering, and technology to forge groundbreaking solutions. Each of its components— from making the most of natural light while minimising heat gains to cutting down on electricity usage by adopting more appropriate artificial light sources— adds up to an attractive and convivial environment, without being excessively heated or cooled down.

Furthermore, acoustics are critically important for creating interior spaces that contribute to human well-being. For instance, understanding sound transmission principles and applying good noise control methods are necessary for having buildings where the people staying can communicate properly without any difficulties. As we explore architectural technology, intricacies are evident that preciseness is essential alongside having a comprehensive view in dealings. Through mastery of progressive substances, novel layout approaches, plus sustainable measures, architects and engineers may keep channelling the destiny of constructed spaces while augmenting the living standards of their occupants.

Sources: 

  1. Gattupalli, A. (2023). What is Architectural Technology? How Innovation is Changing the Industry. [online] ArchDaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/1000647/what-is-architectural-technology-how-technology-is-changing-the-industry
  2. Universidad Europea. (2024). What is architectural technology | Universidad Europea Blog. [online] Available at: https://universidadeuropea.com/en/blog/what-is-architectural-technology/ [Accessed 16 May 2024].
  3. www.architecture courses.org. (n.d.). Architectural Technology | ArchitectureCourses.org. [online] Available at: https://www.architecturecourses.org/learn/architectural-technology.
  4. New (2023). How New Architecture Technologies Help Design the Buildings of Tomorrow, Today. [online] Autodesk.com. Available at: https://www.autodesk.com/design-make/articles/technology-architecture.

 

Author

Simay Karadogan is an architect living in Istanbul. She is someone who loves to write, especially for his profession, and admires many subjects related to a structure. Advanced building technologies, smart and sustainable buildings, construction management and computer-aided architecture are among her favorite areas to read and research.