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Department of Architecture and Building Engineering

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Architecture and Building Engineering Images

Architecture is related to all human activities and as such it incorporates aspects of art, technology, science and society. Japanese society has advanced remarkably, and now, as sustainable development continues to play a more active role, Japan moves into the future. Architecture uses all past experience and should contribute to the process to transform it into creative power. The Department of Architecture at Kumamoto University is aware of these challenges. The University is internationally renowned for its academic and professional excellence. The teaching staff is able to provide knowledge and education in all fields related to architecture. The Department of Architecture at Kumamoto University has an scholarship program that offers various alternatives for those interested.

HISTORY

Our department has its origins at a technical high school in Kumamoto with the opening of a course on architecture. It was until 1942 that the department was officially established to constitute the oldest architecture department west of Kobe. Since 1944, over 3,200 students have graduated and they have worked professionally in several different fields. We are proud of our architectural heritage as part of the excellence in education and research we currently offer.

PROGRAM

Because of the great diversity of undergraduate programs offer by the Department of Architecture in such areas as building construction and structures, maintenance, management, energy conservation, material recycling, disaster prevention and universal design, it is possible to obtain either a very broad and general foundation or to concentrate in one or several areas of study. Through core courses, the program offers a broad introduction to the field of architecture, and through studies in several areas providing opportunities to prepare for specialization in the fields of planning and design, environmental engineering and service, structures and construction as well as building production and materials. In addition to offering a sound and well-rounded education, undergraduate studies can also provide fieldwork to prepare for entry-level employment for the future professionals.
Our educational program for undergraduate students was accredited by the Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education (JABEE) in 2004 and thus the equivalence of educational programs between signing countries under the Washington Accord is guaranteed. The inter-professional nature of the program provides students with the opportunity to experience different educational disciplines available at the Department.
The aim of our graduate school program is to develop students’abilities to appropriately conceive and accurately describe building spaces on several scales, to help them to learn the processes that can be used to make buildings a reality, and to provide the basis to understand the impact projects have on their inhabitants, society, and the environment.

Planning and Design

Future Society demands diversification as we step into a new era, we are pursuing a new type of architecture along with a new concept of a City. The curriculum is prepared based on the research-technique, allowing a set of courses less dependant from function or solely design. One of the main characteristics of architecture is for example, to study historical changes recorded worldwide or in an specific City or site to understand the transformation a building, urban setting or the world have experienced.
Below we specify the research points utilize by the department to achieve our new approach on architecture.

Architectural Planning:

Consists on the study of various Building-Type Plans, from housing to large-scale complex projects taking into account functionality and comfort on a comprehensive target. It aims at the pursuit of the state of Architectural Planning which can respond to "next generation" architecture from both global and domestic perspectives.

Urban Planning:

Urban/community Planning is studied to obtain a fine combination of nature and human living in addition to solve social issues. The Geographic Information System (GIS) is studied and applied to regional planning.

Architectural Design:

Advanced architectural design is studied through an actual architecture and design competition. In order to create a comprehensive architectural design methodology, several planning methods are designed considering relations with history, urban planning, environment, structure and construction techniques.

Architectural History:

Architectural/urban history in Japan and Europe are the object of study along with field surveys and bibliographic references to learn the philosophy, knowledge and rules of architecture. The main subjects are classic architecture in Kyushu and ancient architecture in Greece.

Environmental Engineering and Service

In order to provide healthy and comfortable indoor environment, it is necessary to understand the principles that encompass healthy surroundings. Factors such as indoor air, thermal, acoustic, and luminous environment should always be considered. The techniques and equipments to control indoor environment are also studied to guarantee their optimal performance and application. Additionally, we are living in a worldwide environmental crisis and must study not only indoor environment planning but also global environment planning as well. The following subjects are investigated in this area of research:

Architectural Environment:

Analysis and evaluation of indoor air and thermal and acoustic environment are carried out to ensure a healthy and comfortable indoor environment for the facilities’ occupants. We have mainly consolidated studies on; controlling strategies for optimal indoor air quality, indoor environmental impact of green materials, characteristics of thermal and sound insulations as well as room acoustics.

Regional Environment:

Recently, atmospheric temperature in big cities has increased notably compared to those in rural areas. This phenomenon is called “heat island” and it’s a major issue in Japan. Cities also face noise pollution triggered by road traffic, railways and aircrafts. Actual conditions and controlling methods should be studied to solve such local issues. As researchers in architectural environment field, we are contributing to investigating furthermore on noise pollution to establish a sound control policy and to evaluate the effect of cool roofing and green wall to decrease atmospheric temperature.

Global Environment:

According to the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) statement on “sustainable”, the architectural environment should be developed to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Our role to achieve sustainable future is based on thinking globally, studying the environmental effect of local production and consumption of architectural [building] materials, saving energy and harnessing renewable resources in buildings.

Structures and Construction

Architects must consider not only planning the design but also must take into account the structure of the projects to protect buildings, occupants lives and properties against natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons and fires. The planning method of constructions and the structural characteristics are studied to achieve this task.

Earthquake-Resistant Design:

Japan is a country enduring frequent earthquakes. Buildings are required to be strong enough against natural phenomena and safe for occupants. Experimental studies and computer simulation and analysis are conducted to obtain building characteristics and to develop useful theories to improve earthquake resistant design.

Sustainable Construction:

Global environmental issues are the core of planning in this day and age and we have to make every effort to address them accordingly. This effort has been reflected on the study and research on sustainable construction combined with Japanese traditional theory originated from wooden structures and state of-the-art techniques of steel structures.

Structural Planning:

Each building can express its individuality. The performance of the entire building structure, structural members and joints are investigated and recorded by empirical methods and calculations to obtain a variety of planning under complete control.

Building Production and Materials

Buildings are constructed by a combination of architectural [building] materials and execution techniques. In this field of research we concentrate mainly on characteristics of various building materials, building construction techniques, application of innovative materials for buildings, development of sustainable buildings, and improvement of recycling technologies for architectural materials.

Renovation and reinforcing:

Repairing and reinforcing are paramount for buildings as they age. The development of these methods for reinforced concrete members strengthened with continuous fiber sheets are studied in this research field.

Improved concrete:

New materials like -short fiber reinforced concrete- have high performance ratios. Development of explosion-resistant fiber reinforced concrete and other materials are subjects of study.

Eco-friendly materials:

Considering sustainability and global environmental issues, building materials should be earth-friendly. Our study on eco-friendly materials made from architectural waste to apply cool roofing and other environmental-friendly applications.

Facilities

There are large and sufficient experimental facilities suitable for each special field and valuable references to historical architecture. We count with a vast computer lab providing equipment necessary to study and research including PC’s and graphic workstations available to meet your every need carry out structural calculations, numerical analysis, and graphic design using CAD/CG.

CAREER

Alumni from our department have obtained leadership positions with general contractors, housing suppliers, planning/design offices, material companies, building services, IT industries and the public service. They work as specialists in extensive architectural fields. If you have an interest in creating and designing cities, architecture or solving sustainability and urban environment issues, our department of architecture will assist you to achieve your goals!

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