Course Title: 
Architectural Science
Course Code: 
Year Taught: 
Undergraduate (UG)
School of Engineering

'Architectural Science' is a course offered in B. Tech. in Civil Engineering program at School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.

Unit 1

Principles of architectural design: Factors influencing architectural development – characteristic features of style – historic examples – creative principles. Principles of architectural composition – Unity – balance – proportion – scale – rhythm – harmony – Accentuation and contrast.

Organising principles in architecture – Symmetry – hierarchy – axis – linear – concentric, radial – and asymmetric grouping – primary and secondary masses. Role of colour, texture, shapes/ forms in architecture.

Architectural space and mass, visual and emotional effects of geometric forms; activity space and tolerance space. Forms related to materials and structural systems. Architecture as part of the environment.

Unit 2

The Thermal Environment: Climatic elements: climate graph – comparison and classification of climates. Earth’s thermal balance. Thermal balance of human body – thermal comfort indices – comfort zone.

Thermo physical properties of building materials: resistance and transmittance – sol- air temperature - solar gain factor. Heat flow through buildings – thermal transmittance of structural elements - periodic heat flow.

Design criteria for control of climate – passive and active building design – passive approach. Active systems – low energy cooling.

Unit 3

The Luminous Environment: Types of visual tasks – principles of day lighting – evaluation of lighting by windows, skylights – artificial lighting – illumination requirements – lamps and luminaries – coefficient of utilisation – flood lighting of building exteriors.

The Sonic Environment: Physics of sound – airborne and structure borne propagation – behavior of sound in free field and enclosures – design criteria for spaces – acoustical defects – sound reduction, sound insulation and reverberation control.


  • Francis D. K. Ching., “Architecture – Form, Space and Order”, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007
  • Steven V. Szokolay., “Introduction to Architectural Science - The Basis of Sustainable Design”, Elsevier, 2007.


  • Muthu Shobha Mohan, “Principles of architecture”, Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Koenigseberger, “Manual of Tropical housing and Building – Climatic Design”, Universities Press, 2010.
  • Bureau of Indian standards, Handbook on Functional Requirement of Buildings – SP:41(S and T) – 1987
  • Narasimham V., “An Introduction to Building Physics”, Kabeer Printing Works, Chennai, 1974.
  • Krishnan, “Climate Responsive Architecture”, Tata McGraw Hill, 1999.