AE 481W and AE 482 combined to create the year long senior thesis for the Architectural Engineering Program. AE 481W in Fall 2013 was about the technical analysis of the existing chosen building and the writing of technical reports about the findings. The analysis of these buildings broadened my knowledge of building systems and forced me to learn different code requirements and building practices that I had yet to be exposed to. The tasks of this class increased my understandings of building mechanical systems and real world usage along with refining technical writing skills developed earlier in college.
AE 482 in Spring 2014 focused upon the development and design of new mechanical systems for the building. Through my proposal I was allowed to design systems that were of interest to me for they are solutions trending out in industry: geothermal, active chilled beams, and dedicated outdoor air systems. The design of these systems, along with the analysis of the electrical and structural components, was challenging and time consuming; additionally so because of a lack of previous knowledge about the systems and modeling required to design and analyze them.
Over the entire thesis I gained a deeper understanding of the building industry and mechanical systems, used new resources and taught myself new skills. In all the project was a success both academically and professionally.
The Capstone Project E-Portfolio (CPEP) was an effective tool to keep both myself honest with my work and to keep teachers/advisors/any interested updated to my progress in my thesis. Additionally it stands a the repository and main presentation of all the work done in AE 481W and AE 482. By using the website format it gave exposure to students about websites and new technologies, vital in today's world, allowed us to display our creativity in new ways and provided a public portal to our work.
While there were other online resources offered through the department via online forums for the students to ask questions to pertinent professionals I did not take advantage of them in the work of my capstone project.