Portrait of a Space
AE 210


You are to look at a building in as many ways as possible documenting your understanding of the building on a web page/site.

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You are to use as many different ways of documenting either a single space or an entire building (hereafter I'll call it building although a space is acceptable) as possible. These ways will include at least:



Drawings Plan, section and exterior elevation - You are NOT required to use SketchUp for this assignment.
Words A written description of the building
Photographs Scanned or digital photographs of your building (we will have a digital camera available)
Numbers Relevant number addressing the many different systems that make up a building including at least: dimensions; temperature; light levels; voltages; weights


Selecting the Space

You are welcome to select the space of your choice. If you do not have a space by the second meeting of the class Prof. Mitchell will assign you one (most likely a room where you're living).

As noted above you may use either a single space (including the one drawn in the second assignment) or multiple spaces if you choose - you are limited only by your ambition. I suggest that you select a relatively small space to keep you life manageable. The main emphasis in this assignment is on understanding the variety of ways to describe a space, not on the scale or beauty of the building selected although they will weigh somewhat for extra credit..


What often distinguishes an engineer from other professionals is their ability to quantify their observations and make accurate predictions. It is for that reason that you are asked to develop as many relevant numbers about your building as possible. Some are suggested above and more will be discussed in class. What follows is are some suggestions of appropriate numbers and important points about their presentation. Note that in your own presentations presenting the units of any numbers is critical.

For help with calculations see the AE Calcs Spreadsheet on the AE Resources page. I urge you to look at this portion of the assignment early. You'll undoubtedly have questions about the spreadsheet and the calculations it performs.


Building System


Measured Dimensions Architectural Length, width, height, thicknesses, opening dimensions, radii, clearances
Derived from Dimensions Architectural Area, volume
Loads Structural

Dead Loads; Live loads - horizontal and vertical

Loads / SF or Volume

Derived Parameters Structural

Loads/unit area or linear dimension

Stresses, strains, moments

Loads HVAC Design and existing Temperatures - internal and external; Design Rh; Design Air Speeds; Radiation load
Derived Parameters HVAC Delta-T; Heat flow; Air Volume flow; Enthalpy change; Total Load; BTU/SFH; Tons of Cooling
Loads Electrical - Power Wattages; Voltage; Currents
Derived Parameters Electrical - Power Watts/SF; Total Load
Loads Lighting Foot-candles
Derived Parameters Lighting Foot-candles/SF; Watts
Loads Acoustics Decibel; reverberation; absorption
Derived Parameters Acoustics Attenuation
Loads Communications; Fire; Transportation; Plumbing; Landscape; Storm Water etc. There are many other systems in a building which can be quantified.

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This project is to be completed in groups that will be assigned by the instructor. You are welcome to consult with your classmates for suggestions - short of direct copying. The grading is on an absolute scale so mutual assistance can only help each group.

Submit a teamwork evaluation to the Teamwork Submit database.

The Teams for this Assignment are defined on this page.

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You are to deliver a web site which addresses the assignment, ready to be viewed by the class and instructor. Each site should meet the following requirements.

Web Page Identification Requirements

Your assignment site should have at least the following information on it:

Remember to turn in the Assignment to the Submit Assignment database.

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The following will be be used to assess your success in meeting the project's requirements. Note that each project will be "weighted" as shown on the grading to determine the overall term grade.

General advice - BE SPECIFIC, you'll only get an average grade if you give generalities without specific numbers, details, examples to back up your generality.


Excellent Work Average Work Possible Points

The Web Site Exists

Average +

The web is well used to present the material..

The web site exists addressing all the issues raised above with minimal spelling and grammar errors.


The Website is submitted on time to the Submissions Database.

The four methods are used to describe the building with adequate use of the web so the user can see the materials and move effectively through the web site

Submit a teamwork evaluation to the Teamwork Submit database.


The Methods Document the Building well

Average +

The methods are extensive and accurate in their description - additional, appropriate material is presented for each method beyond that suggested here.

The four methods cover the minimum description of the building adequately with minimal errors of spelling, drawing or numeric accuracy..


The Numbers Presented are Accurate & Appropriate

Average +

Additional systems and/or derived parameters are presented effectively..

The numbers describing the building cover the basic systems (Architecture, Structure, HVAC, Electrical) and have appropriate units and significant digits..


Reflections on the Description

Average +

Comparison tables, graphs or other devices are used to amplify your understanding of the relative advantages and disadvantages of each method of description

The advantages and limitations of each description method are presented through at least a paragraph comment on each.


Extra Credit

Average +/or

Additional systems or methods of description are presented.

Useful suggestions for improving the project for future classes..



    100 normal

105 with extra credit

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Updated: 3/31/06