The model shop supports the production of scaled models by student and faculty. The shop is equipped with foam cutting machines, different types of drill machines, routers and Jigsaws. The shop also has handy circular cutters, straight cutters, engraving machines and drills. Modeling materials available in the shop include clays, wood, foam, colors, adhesives and papers of different types. The shop can accommodate up to 10 persons each working on a different model. A modeling technician oversees the shop and advises users on materials and appropriate techniques of model production and on safety issues. The shop has served as an invaluable resource center in the various exhibitions that the students of the college have hosted.
Digital Photography Laboratory
The digital photography laboratory is used to document the academic works, activities and events of the college, and to also support teaching. The laboratory is equipped with a Sony and JVC digital camera, a Fuji finepix 8.1 pro Digital camera, regular cameras, enlargers, lighting equipment, film processor and color paper processor. The laboratory can process digital photographic images, as well as process regular black and white and color photographs. The laboratory is also capable of processing slide films. A Pentium 4 grade computer and an Epson stylus 1290 photo printer support the digital photo processing work of the laboratory.
Computer Aided Design Center
The computer aided design center of the college is organized around three computer clusters, each forming a local network domain that serves the needs of the architecture, architectural engineering and construction engineering and management programs. Each of the clusters has an average of 12 Pentium class computers, connected to a server. The computers are loaded with the most recent industry standard application software. All the three domains are connected to the university wide network. The center also has a large format plotter for hard copy production and a projection room fitted with a fixed computer projector and projection screen. The center is a focus of activity for the college as it supports both the teaching of design and other related courses, and also the design activities of students. The center affords students the opportunity to improve their design and drafting skills using the latest technology that is available.
Design is usually the core of academic programs in architecture and other environmental design disciplines. To support the teaching of design, the college has a number of architectural design studios grouped together in one location. The studios are designed as clusters within an open space, with each cluster serving a design class, and the open nature of the studio encouraging interaction among the different design classes. Within each design studio, every student is allocated a private workspace consisting of drawing table and lockers that are secure. The arrangement provides each student with privacy, while at the same time encouraging him to interact with his colleagues. Among the future plans for the studios is the extension of the college network to the individual drawing tables to enable students fully integrate information technology with their design activities.
Intelligent Design Studio
The intelligent design studio is a studio solely dedicated to the application of information technology in design. Located in close proximity to the other design studios, the intelligent design studio is equipped with 10 Pentium class computers networked together with a server of their own. The computers are loaded with industry standard design software such as AutoCad, FromZ, 3D Studio Max and Viz. The studio also has a regular printer, An A2 size Epson Injet Printer and a large format plotter. Each student in the studio is assigned a workspace made up of a regular drawing table and a network terminal. The arrangement enables student to fully integrate information technology with design without the need to work outside their studio space.
The reference library of the college supports the research and design activities of student and faculty. The library has a collection of more than 3000 books, back issues of many journals in Arabic and English, and a collection of more than 300 senior projects and Masters’ thesis. The library also has a collection of maps and master plans of the major cities of Saudi Arabia. The Library is linked to the main university library with a computer terminal, thereby enabling a broader search for materials. The library also has a photocopier, for quick reproductions. The library is usually open during the day, from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm. An audiovisual library also available as a part of the CED Library, this library consists of slides, videotapes and films covering the different aspects of design, architecture, city planning and landscape architecture. The collection includes more than 100 tapes and about 11000 slides. Closely associated with the library is a projection room where the slide and videotape library is kept and can be viewed. The projection room is equipped with VHS and Betamax Video recorders and a large format television. Slide and transparency projectors are also available. The audiovisual library serves as an invaluable aid to teaching in the college.
The reproduction center services the copying needs of the college. The center is equipped with two high volume copiers; a Nashuatec 4561 copier and a Konica 331 copier. The center also has a large format copier capable of producing up to A2 and a Xerox reproduction machine capable of very large format reproductions. The center has Binding equipment, light table and cutters. Also attached to the reproduction center is also the material store of the college. This is where all the graphic materials and supplies of the college are kept and supplied to faculty and students. The store supports the design and other academic activities of the college.
The Building Science Lab
The Building Science Laboratory is composed of four units. These are the Acoustics and Noise Control unit, the Building Illumination unit, the Thermal and Mechanical Systems unit, and Building Materials and Construction systems unit. The units are equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for measuring variables that affect aspects of natural and built environments. These include illumination, acoustics, thermal comfort, and indoor air quality. The Building Science Laboratory is also equipped with facilities for designing scale-model structures, and it also contains a number of working models for illustrating the air-conditioning process and cycles. The laboratory is used for instructional as well as research purposes.Because of the low number of graduates from the basic-level program in the department and the strict admission requirements to the graduate program, the number of students admitted is low. However, with the recent positive enrollment trend in the undergraduate program and the planned introduction of a non-thesis option and more relevant and attractive topics and areas of research, the number of students in the Architectural Engineering graduate program is expected to increase substantially.
The GIS Unit at the department was established in 1998 under its management with the purpose of serving as a teaching, training, and research center for graduate students and department faculty. It equips the students with technical GIS knowledge for careers in a variety of planning fields and help the local organizations hire the personnel with hands on GIS experience. It also helps faculty in their research activities. The Unit has been utilized to offer regular GIS courses. Also many short courses in GIS have been conducted during the last four years using this GIS Unit. Thus, the Unit introduces the use of GIS technology to people working in both public and private sector in this area. The unit also aims in future to provide consultancy for GIS users in the area. The unit is well equipped with sophisticated state-of-the-art hardware and software, enabling students and researchers to use them in their respective projects. It currently uses ArcView, ArcInfo and ArcIMS as its main GIS software in addition to other general-purpose software. The GIS Unit provides space for 18 students simultaneously with access to GIS software, GPS technology, digitizing pads and state of the art equipment and peripherals such as Large format Digitizer, Scanner, Printer and heavy duty color and laser printers.