Alex’ Courses

Below is a list of all courses/workshops etc. I am currently teaching or have taught in the past.

Current Courses

Construction Materials and Methods

BCT 204 – 2004 to present – Spring term

This course provides an introductory overview of the various materials used in construction.

After receiving an introduction into fundamental principles of structural, physical and long-term performance, students learn about material and product manufacturing techniques and how they relate to mechanical and non-mechanical properties of the various materials. Common construction methods are introduced and building details are explored.

Students have the opportunity to experience material capacity and behavior as well as construction methods in demonstrations and lab experiments. Furthermore, material applications and detailing in structural and non-structural building components are explored. Resulting from this course, students will gain a comparative knowledge of material properties and possible applications in construction and architecture.

Properties of Wood

BCT 304 – 2007 to present – Fall term

Wood is an amazing building material: It is beautiful and warm to the touch. It is easy to machine and abundantly available. It is light, yet strong and stiff. And best of all: It comes from a renewable source. To build with wood, however, requires understanding its peculiarities: the variability of its properties, its interaction with water and the possibility of biodeterioration.

This course introduces students to the anatomy and the physical and mechanical properties of wood. Deterioration and proper uses of wood are discussed. It provides an overview of wood-based products and exposes students to structural systems in wood. Basic lab techniques for physical measurement and mechanical testing are introduced by conducting and analyzing several laboratory experiments.

Advanced Topics in CAD & BIM

BCT 420 – 2007 to present – Spring term

(Image: Jim Gipe / Pivot Media)

Building upon skills acquired in the “Introduction to CAD for Construction and Architecture” course, this course presents advanced topics in architectural CAD software.

Centered on problem-based tasks, topics such as 3-dimensional modeling, parametric building design, Building Information Modeling (BIM), material takeoff, energy-efficient planning and model analysis, rendering and presentation, and others will be explored.

Industry standard CAD/BIM software such as Autodesk Revit, Google SketchUp and AutoCAD will be used to accomplish this.

Tectonics 3

ARCH-DES 653 – 2008 to present – Fall term

This course explores the interrelations between building functions, loads, structural system, materials and construction methods. Topics addressed are structural building layout, design, structural detailing, and documentation of predominantly large-scale buildings and other structures made of steel, concrete, engineered wood and masonry.

Students will be exposed to a wide range of topics centered around structural systems and will be encouraged to develop an integrated approach to planning that considers efficient and appropriate structural solutions. Concept-based design projects and assignments will provide an opportunity to practice this approach.

Emphasis is placed in this course on development of efficient structural form, conceptual and preliminary structural design (using software and approximate calculation methods), integrated design and structural detailing.

Studies in Building Information Modeling

ECO 697SB – 2010 to present – Spring term

This is a companion graduate course for my BCT 420 class.

Adventures in 3D Printing

HONORS 391A – 2014 to present – Every 2 years

3D printing is often referred to as the “next industrial revolution”. While the idea of printing your own consumer goods on-demand is certainly exciting, there are many questions that relate to this technology: ownership & copyright, accessibility, technical issues, cost. This seminar will evaluate this technology from the perspectives of students with varied backgrounds. Students also have an opportunity to learn 3D modeling and make their own 3D prints.

Past or Occasional Courses

Workshops or Guest Lectures

  • 3D modeling and 3D printing
  • Web content-management systems
  • Wood products in design