Course Title: Provide design solutions for residential and commercial buildings

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: ARCH5204

Course Title: Provide design solutions for residential and commercial buildings

School: 320T Architecture & Design

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6136 - Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural)

Course Contact : Catherine Ciavarella

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4818

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

First Year:

Second Year:

Nominal Hours: 200

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit of competency specifies the outcomes required to apply the theories and principles of design to the design of buildings. It can be applied to both residential buildings (BCA Classes 1 and 10) and commercial buildings (BCA Classes 2 to 9). It requires the ability to research, analyse and evaluate information on the history and elements of architecture and their influence on current practice. It includes developing a design response which meets the requirements of a project brief, and communicating a final design solution to relevant stakeholders.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU21599 Provide design solutions for residential and commercial buildings


1. Research the key movements of global architecture 


Performance Criteria:

1.1 A range of research techniques is used to source information on the influential periods of global
architecture through the works of recognised architects and designers.

1.2 Architectural terminology and language is identified for application in research.

1.3 Own knowledge and understanding of global architecture is developed through review and critical analysis of the influences and features of recognised works.

1.4 The principal characteristics of predominant architectural styles are researched and recorded.

1.5 Impacts of global architecture are analysed for their influence on Australian regional architecture.


2. Determine design principles

Performance Criteria:

2.1 The history and main principles of design theories are researched and examined to inform, compare and contrast with present beliefs, methods and practice.

2.2 Design principles are researched which constitute sound and innovative design and its practice on a tectonic concept.

2.3 The relationship between art, architecture and nature is explored to determine the application of form, functionality and aesthetics in design.

2.4 Principles of symmetry, rhythm and symbolism in art and architecture are researched and compared with current theories of culture, politics and technology.


3. Apply design principles to the context of a site

Performance Criteria:

3.1 The project brief is analysed to determine client requirements for the design.

3.2 The correlation between human behaviour, function, aesthetics, typology, neighbourhood character and site context is analysed to determine patterns of movement, spatial relationships and visual goals determined by the project brief.

3.3 Circulation patterns/bubble diagrams are developed to illustrate patterns of movement and spatial relationships.

3.4 Social, sustainable and technical factors are integrated in accordance with regulatory requirements and contextual and site restraints.


4. Develop and express ideas through freehand sketching

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Principal elements of sketching are identified and explored through visual and sketched studies of built forms and their internal and external features.

4.2 Sketches are produced using a range of media to interpret design solutions and concepts and to illustrate details of construction, structural and aesthetic elements of a design.

4.3 Selected rendering techniques are used to enhance readability and interpretation and to display a range of material finishes.

4.4 Sketches are produced with accurate proportions and in accordance with project timelines, as required.


5. Resolve and communicate design solutions to a build form

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Architectural theories are evaluated and integrated to a conceptual programme.

5.2 Features of comparable building designs are researched to inform the development of a design solution.

5.3 Design theories, concepts and ideas are combined to produce a design solution.

5.4 The elements of human needs, the environment, sustainability and technology are integrated into a concept design.

5.5 A range of alternative responses is developed and reviewed and a final solution is selected for presentation to relevant stakeholders.

5.6 The final design solution is confirmed against the project brief and communicated to relevant stakeholders through 2D or 3D media.

Learning Outcomes

This unit of competency supports the attainment of the knowledge and skills required for building designers to apply the principles and theories of design to residential and commercial building projects.

Details of Learning Activities

The following list is indicative of the range of activities undertaken in the course. Emphasis of activities may vary depending on the specific design projects.

  • Studio 
  • Peer Review 
  • Demonstrations
  • Lectures 
  • Supervised project work
  • Site Visits/Excursions
  • Independent Research
  • Independent studio work

Teaching Schedule

 This course is scheduled over 2 years with each year consisting of 32 weeks across 2 semesters

PLEASE NOTE: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.
For detailed outlines of the teaching schedule and course structure and current updates, you are also advised to refer to myRMIT


<thead> <th scope="col">Semester 01</th> <th scope="col"> </th> <th scope="col"> </th> <th scope="col">Class Number:</th> <th scope="col">DESIGN 1/2 & PRESENTATION STUDIO Class Description:</th> <th scope="col"> Assessment:</th> </thead> <th scope="row">1</th> <th scope="row">2</th> <th scope="row">3</th> <th scope="row">4</th> <th scope="row">5</th> <th scope="row">6</th> <th scope="row">7</th> <th scope="row">8</th> <th scope="row">9</th> <th scope="row">10</th> <th scope="row">11</th> <th scope="row">12</th> <th scope="row">13</th> <th scope="row">14</th> <th scope="row">15</th> <th scope="row">Semester 2</th> <th scope="row">1</th> <th scope="row">2</th> <th scope="row">3</th> <th scope="row">4</th> <th scope="row">5</th> <th scope="row">6</th> <th scope="row">7</th> <th scope="row">8</th> <th scope="row">9</th> <th scope="row">10</th> <th scope="row">11</th> <th scope="row">12</th> <th scope="row">13</th> <th scope="row">14</th> <th scope="row">15</th> <th scope="row">History</th> <th scope="row"> </th> <th scope="row"> Semester 3</th> <th scope="row">1.01</th> <th scope="row">1.02</th> <th scope="row">1.03</th> <th scope="row">1.04</th> <th scope="row">1.05</th> <th scope="row">1.06</th> <th scope="row">1.07</th> <th scope="row">1.08</th> <th scope="row">1.09</th> <th scope="row">1.10</th> <th scope="row">1.11</th> <th scope="row">1.12</th> <th scope="row">1.13</th> <th scope="row">1.14</th> <th scope="row">1.15</th> <th scope="row">1.16</th> <th scope="row">Semester 4</th> <th scope="row">2.01</th> <th scope="row">2.02</th> <th scope="row">2.03</th> <th scope="row">2.04</th> <th scope="row">2.05-2.10</th> <th scope="row">2.11</th> <th scope="row">2.12</th> <th scope="row">2.13-2.15</th> <th scope="row">2.16</th>

Course introduction
Project Introduction: MP-01
DP-01 Site context recording and analysis,DP-02 Design Process & ideas .
Site Visit to Alumni Courtyard.

ISSUE: MP-01 package

MP-01 Class review/presentation of DP-01, DP-02.
DP-03 Anthropometric Analysis.


MP-01 Design Development
PP-03-Orthographic Projection


MP-01 Design finalisation and Modelling
PP-04-Contextual Graphics




Project Introduction: MP-02
DP-01-Museum Excursion Brief DP-02 Site Context Recording and Analysis
DP-03-Elements of Living

ISSUE: MP-02 package

Self directed Learning
Develop DP-02 Site Context Recording and Analysis & DP-03 Elements of Living
MP-02 Museum Excursion  
Concept Development- Form making, bubble diagrams.
Concept Development DP-04 - Form Making and/or Bubble Diagrams cont..
Design Development-Functional planning and Floor Plans
Design Development- Sections, Massing / Preperation for final model

MP-02-BIOMORPHIC Preliminary Submission
Design Development-Elevations and Materials

MP-02  Design Development-Elevations and Materials / Design statement  
 Introduction Major Project  - 03 Issue MP-03
 Project Design Development  
 Project Design Development  
 Project Design Development  
 Project Design Development  
 Project Design Development  
 Project Design Development  
 Project Design Development  
 Project Design Development  
 Project Design Development  
 Project Design Development  
 Project Design Development  
 Project Design Development  
 Project Design Development  
 Project Submission  Submission - MP 3
8 Week Lecture Series On line Quiz - issues session 8 [5%]
Course Introduction
Project Brief
MP:01 Regional [20%]
Site Visit  
Schematic Design"
"Presenting Work
Building Codes"
Studio Presentation  
"Project Brief
Assessment Feedback"
MP:02 Urban [30%]
Urban Context  
"Building Codes
Functional Planning"
Section Studies Elevations  
Floor Plans  
Schematic Presentation 01  
Modify existing work  
Studio Presentation  
Self Directed Work: [Staff Planning] Project Pre-design  
"Project Brief
Assessment Feedback"
MP:03 Complex [40%]
Site Visit  
"Building Codes
Functional Planning"
Studio Presentation  
"Project Brief
Assessment Feedback"
MP:03.1 Addendum [10%]
Client Presentation  

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts



Krebs, Jan. Basics: Design and Living Birkhauser 2007 ISBN: 3-7643-7647-3
Jormakka K., Basics: Design Methods, Birkhauser 2008 ISBN: 978-3-7643-8463-0
Bielefeld B., El Khouli S., Basics: Design Ideas, Birkhauser 2007 ISBN: 978-3-7643-8112-7
Bernard Leupen, Christopher Grafe, Nicola K&ouml;rnig Design and Analysis 010 Publishers available free on Google Books. You are advised to look at the course myRMIT site for ongoing updated information.

Other Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software. You will also have access to the library resources

Overview of Assessment

This unit of competency could be assessed in the workplace or a close simulation of the workplace environment, provided that simulated or project-based assessment techniques fully replicate design drafting workplace conditions, materials, activities, responsibilities and procedures. Holistic or project-based assessment with other related units is recommended.

A person who demonstrates competency in this unit must be able to provide evidence of the ability to:
• research and apply knowledge of global architecture, architects and designers and their influences on modern design theories
• apply architectural concepts to a built form
• develop a design solution which meets the requirements of the project brief
• communicate design solutions to stakeholders using a range of media.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks in this course are either formative (F) or summative (S).
Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks.
Summative assessment tasks in this course are graded.
Feedback throughout the course may be written, verbal or a combination of both.

At the end of first year, a grade of DNS will be recorded if a student fails to submit all required projects, or if the submitted projects are unsatisfactory across all the elements outlined in the assessment matrix in relation to residential application. 
Successful first year results are rolled over as 40% of the final Design grade, which is only recorded and published at the end of the second year.

Students must submit all following assessments and achieve an overall pass(50%) in year one to proceed to year two

First Year Assessments:
20% - MP-01 SHELTER
45% - MP-03 HOUSE/HOME 

Second Year Assessments:
20% - MP-01 Regional
30% - MP-02 Urban
40% - MP-03 Complex
10% - MP-03.1 Addendum

You will receive feedback with verbal and/or written evaluation of your progress within class time.
The submitted projects will be assessed with written feedback as well as a quality indicator that relates to separate components of the project and the overall outcome.

Grade Description Range
HD High Distinction 80 – 100
DI Distinction 70 – 79
CR Credit 60 – 69
PA Pass 50 – 59
SP Supplementary Pass -
NN Fail 0 – 49
PX Pass Grade Only -
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment. -

Assessment Matrix

An assessment matrix demonstrating alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency is available from the course contact person (stated above) and also at the following link

Other Information

Arch 5204 is a two year course.

Academic Progress:
At the end of each academic period individual student progress will be reviewed by the Student Academic Progress Review Committee and students will be advised of their eligibility for progression.

Student Charter:
The Student Charter, in association with the University’s statutes and law, indicates what the University and its students can expect from each other. The University’s mission is to create and disseminate knowledge to meet the needs of industry and the community and to foster in students the skills and passion to contribute to and engage with the world.

Student Responsibilities:
In undertaking this course students are required to be responsible for:
The time management of the course work in order to complete all work requirements satisfactorily and on time.

  • RMIT encourages students to attend all scheduled classes to optimise academic success.
  • To ascertain what content or assessment has been missed, and gather the information prior to next class.
  • To be proactive in mastering the academic material of the course by challenging, questioning and extending course outcomes.
  • To be responsible for the maintenance of a non-disruptive and scholastic attitude in the learning environment.

See RMIT Academic progress information, responsibilities and support for current students:;ID=nzasms4pljer

Extension of Time for Submission of Assessable work Procedure:
Students must refer to the RMIT policy for eligibility and procedures. (unresolved)

Equitable Assessment:
Students must refer to the RMIT policy for eligibility and procedures.;ID=id0959jyz9mx

Special Consideration:
Students must refer to the RMIT policy for eligibility and procedures.;ID=g43abm17hc9w

Assessment Principles:
Final assessment decisions can be reviewed and or appealed.
See RMIT Assessment Policies:

Employability skills:
Employability skills describe non-technical skills and competencies that are an important part of effective and successful participation in the workplace.
The following Employability Skills are an inherent part of this course:
Communication, Teamwork, Problem solving, Initiative and enterprise, Planning and organising, Self management, Learning and Technology.

Refer to the RMIT policy on plagiarism which is reference under Academic Integrity atRMIT;ID=kw02ylsd8z3n;STATUS=A?QRY=Plagiarism%20-%20student%20information&STYPE=ENTIRE

Course Overview: Access Course Overview