Intelligent Building

Intelligent Buildings – AE-790 – Spring Term AY2005-6

The building industry, like the rest of the world, is changing in response to technology advances.  Our goal in this course is to build a framework for understanding the impact of technologies that are likely to produce significant change during your professional career.  We will not, of course, be perfect in our predictions, but hopefully the framework developed will allow you make sense of the unexpected.

The course is open to all who have some senior-level knowledge of at least one aspect of the building industry.  We will assume that students are familiar with the major building systems (architecture, structure, MEP) and proficient in at least one.  Students with other backgrounds should consult the professor before signing up


Spring Term – Tuesdays 6-9 PM


James E.  Mitchell – Director of the Architectural Engineering Program – James.Mitchell@Drexel.edu

+ Multiple visiting Speakers


Senior or Graduate Status  +

Professional Level Knowledge of some aspect of the Building Industry (Architecture, Engineering, Construction Management)

Technical Skills

This course will not be mathematical, but will use the computer heavily, including website creation (help offered) and several programs that will be new to many students (e.g. database and concept mapping).

Core Concepts

The following core concepts will be emphasized throughout the course:

  • The computer-based building model will be ever more central to design, construction, operation, renovation and demolition of all buildings.
  • This model is, at heart, a database.
  • Sensors and networks will become ubiquitous
  • Buildings will become increasingly “active” instead of inert.

Student Work

The core task of the course will be developing a entire-class shared “Concept Map” that addresses all the issues we raise during the term.  That map will be developed using the free software CMap (http://cmap.ihmc.us/).  There will be weekly exercises that will be tied to the Concept map as well as weekly discussions of your work and class presentations.

Updated: 1/26/06