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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 provides knowledge and technical experience that allows students 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 are offered at FLCC's Victor Campus Center.

Technology: The CAD Lab offers twenty four networked PCs with current versions of AutoCAD, Inventor, AutoCAD Architecture, and Microsoft Office. Networked output devices include a 3D printer, color laser printer, and large format color plotter.

Honors Courses: In addition, the College offers honors courses that provide enhanced educational experiences for students who have demonstrated outstanding academic ability. Enrollment in honors courses is open to qualified students enrolled in this degree program, as well as all other qualified FLCC students. Successful completion of honors courses or an Honors Certificate may increase student 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

The Bill Parham Memorial and Mobil Science Scholarships are given annually to FLCC students meeting the specific criteria of the awards. For details, contact a member of the Science/Technology departments.

The Experience

Classroom assignments and projects have been developed to simulate tasks that would likely be encountered in an office setting. During the fall semester, second-year architectural technology students work on a residential project. They begin by developing a design concept for a small house and present their idea to classmates, FLCC faculty, and visiting critics. Students complete the semester by producing a set of construction drawings for the residence.

During the spring semester, second-year architectural technology students work on a larger, more complex commercial project. Starting with a collection of architect's sketches, students solve technical problems and transform the sketches into construction drawings.

Local Resources: Students enhance their FLCC experience by visiting local architectural and engineering design firms and 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.

At the conclusion of their course of study, architectural technology students will have a greater understanding of the issues, objectives, and constraints related to residential and commercial design. They will also possess a fundamental set of skills and strategies for addressing these design issues. Students will understand how to read and assemble a set of construction drawings and will be ready to make a valuable contribution to the architecture and construction related fields.

Internships/Cooperative Education: Architectural technology students may also participate in the internship / co-op program. Students who choose to pursue this opportunity will work in a design environment as a drafter, designer, inspector, or similar position for a portion of the year. They 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 Finger Lakes faculty review the work performed.

Co-op students will be paid by the firm and will receive class credit. Each assignment is individually planned and work commitments vary. Participating students will require a recommendation from their Finger Lakes faculty advisor prior to being accepted into the program and should contact their 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, or with construction management companies.

Students may continue for two additional years for degrees in Construction Management or Architectural Engineering Technology. Typical schools our graduates transfer to are Rochester Institute of Technology (civil technology), SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, and 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 our 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

The lead teacher and advisor for all students in the program, Todd Marsh, holds a Master's in Architecture degree from SUNY Buffalo, and has been a licensed and registered architect in New York since 2002. Todd is a member of the American Institute of Architects, and brings his interest in energy efficient and environmentally friendly design to student projects.