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Architectural Technology & Building Sciences

The Degree

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S)

The Outlook

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of architectural drafters is expected to grow 1 percent from 2012 to 2022. Those who have completed at least two years of post-secondary training and have developed strong technical skills and experience using CAD systems will be well qualified for this field. The A.A.S. Architectural Technology and Building Sciences degree at Finger Lakes Community College is designed to provide you with the skills and experience to compete in today's job market.

The Program

The architectural technology and building sciences degree program provides you with the knowledge and technical experience that will allow you to advance beyond entry-level drafting to more complex designs. Instruction emphasizes technical competence and utilizes computer-aided drafting (CAD). The faculty work closely with architectural firms in the area to assure the program meets the needs of the architectural community. The majority of the core courses needed for this degree is offered at FLCC's Victor Campus Center.

Technology: The CAD lab offers twenty-four networked PCs with current versions of:

  • AutoCAD
  • Inventor
  • AutoCAD Architecture
  • Microsoft Office

Networked output devices include a 3D printer, color laser printer, and large format color plotter.

Honors Courses: If you have demonstrated outstanding academic ability, you will have the opportunity to take honors courses at FLCC that provide enhanced educational experiences. If you are a qualified student in this degree program or are a qualified student from another program, enrollment in honors courses is open to you. Successful completion of honors courses or an Honors Certificate may increase your transfer options to four-year institutions.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree program, students will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge and practice skills related to architectural technology, allowing the successful graduate to fill an entry level position as an architectural technician or architectural designer, often working under the supervision of a registered architect or professional engineer; graduates may also fill similar positions in related or supporting fields such as structural design/drafting, HVAC design/drafting, or building product supply.
  • Demonstrate the fundamentals of hand drafting including elements such as drawing layout, orthographic projection, use of line weights, paraline drawings, dimensioning, and architectural plans, elevations, and sections.
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of the range of building materials and techniques commonly used in building construction.
  • Identify and apply energy efficient, environmentally conscious, and sustainable design strategies.
  • Use 2D and 3D CAD software as a design, drafting, and presentation tool.
  • Create and present a conceptual design for a small residence and develop the concept into construction drawings and framing models.
  • Be cooperative and productive members of a collaborative design team (2 to 3 members).
  • Read and interpret rough sketches and, based on the sketches, develop construction drawings for a small commercial building.
  • Complete basic structural calculations related to the design of wood and steel beams, columns, and bolted connections.
  • Practice methods for estimating building material quantities and costs.
  • Apply terminology, materials, and problem solving approaches related to mechanical systems in buildings.
  • Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of construction management including the responsibilities of various participants (owner, architect, contractor, etc.), different contract types, and the roles of OSHA and Wick's Law.

The Scholarships

As an architectural technology and building sciences major, if you meet specific award criteria, you will be eligible for the following scholarships:

  • Bill Parham Memorial
  • FLCC Science/Technology Faculty
  • Murray F. Gardner Memorial
  • G.W. Lisk, Inc. Excellence

For details, contact a member of the science/technology department.

The Experience

Classroom assignments and projects have been developed to simulate tasks that would likely be encountered in an office setting. As a second-year architectural technology student, you will work on a residential project during the fall semester. You will begin the project by developing a design concept for a small house and then after that is complete; you will present your idea to classmates, FLCC faculty, and visiting critics. You will later complete the semester by producing a set of construction drawings for the residence.

Also, as a second-year architectural technology student, you will be assigned to work on a larger, more complex commercial project during the spring semester. Starting with a collection of architect's sketches, you will solve technical problems and transform the sketches into construction drawings.

Local Resources: Your program experience will be enriched while at FLCC by:

  • Taking visits to local architectural and engineering design firms.
  • Touring facilities that manufacture, fabricate, or sell construction related materials.

Manufacturer's representatives also visit classrooms to share the most recent technical information on selected products.

Upon the conclusion of your program experience, you will have a greater understanding of the issues, objectives, and constraints related to residential and commercial design. You will also possess a fundamental set of skills and strategies for addressing these design issues. The program will train you to:

  • Understand how to read and assemble a set of construction drawings.
  • Be ready to make a valuable contribution to the architecture and construction related fields.

Internships/Cooperative Education: As an architectural technology and building sciences major, you will have the opportunity to participate in the internship/co-op program. If you choose to pursue this opportunity, you will work in a design environment as a:

  • Drafter
  • Designer
  • Inspector

You will perform a variety of work assignments under the supervision of design professionals and are required to submit periodic written reports. An on-site mentor and FLCC faculty will review the work performed.

As a co-op student, you will be paid by the firm and will receive class credit. Each assignment is individually planned and work commitments vary. While participating in the internship/co-op program, a recommendation from the FLCC faculty advisor will be required prior to you being accepted into the program. You should contact your advisor for additional details.

The Graduates

Graduates of this program have found employment with:

  • Architectural or Engineering Design Firms
  • Manufacturers and Retailers of Building-Related Products
  • Construction Management Companies

Upon graduation, you may continue for two additional years for degrees in construction management or architectural engineering technology. Graduates of this degree program have gone on to transfer to four-year institutions* such as:

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (Civil Technology)
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse
  • Alfred State College

Salary: According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual salary for architectural drafters was $49,630 in May 2012.

* This is a sampling of some of the four-year colleges and universities to which FLCC students have transferred. Please consult your advisor or the educational planning and career services office for a complete listing of transfer agreements between Finger Lakes Community College and four-year institutions.

The Faculty

Todd Marsh, the lead professor and advisor for all students in the program, is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo. Marsh holds a master's in architecture and has been a licensed and registered architect in New York since 2002. He currently is a member of the American Institute of Architects, and brings his interest in energy efficient and environmentally friendly design to student projects.