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Architecture Course Builds Environmental Perspective

Academy of Art University’s School of Architecture offered masters students a different view last semester with a new course: Graduate Design Tech II – Environmental Controls. In the large-scale world of architecture, the course takes a more granular approach, teaching students the details of building systems engineering and energy efficient design.

Partnering with the Academy, San Francisco engineering firm WSP Flack Kurtz developed the course to cover a different building system each week, including mechanical systems, plumbing systems and electrical systems. WSP Flack Kurtz engineering experts taught the course.

“Architects should be aware of how these systems fit into their overall design in terms of energy efficiency and function,” said John Covington, WSP Flack Kurtz senior marketing coordinator and class coordinator.

The firm hopes the class will impart the importance of sustainable design in everyday life. Students at the Academy learn to design environmentally, functionally and beautifully.

“We hope to do the class again during the Spring semester if time permits,” said Covington. “ It’s a great way for us to get our sustainability messaging out in the community, and the engineers really enjoyed the students. These are the people we’ll be working with in the future, so it’s a good way for WSP Flack Kurtz to have an impact before they join the workforce.”

All Academy of Art University courses are taught by working professionals to ensure that students are prepared for their future careers. Many students develop relationships with top companies even before they graduate.

WSP Flack Kurtz is currently working on the Transbay Transit Center in addition to other projects within San Francisco and worldwide. They have been consistently ranked as on of the world’s top engineering firms in World of Architecture since 1994.


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