Architecture (ARCH) 525

Architectural Design: Lighting (Revision 3)

ARCH 525 Course Cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

For those students interested in pursuing a career as a registered architect, this course contributes to the RAIC Syllabus Diploma. Information about the RAIC Syllabus Diploma is available on the RAIC website.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Graduate Diploma in Architecture program, or referral from the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) for individuals with a professional degree in architecture from a university outside Canada.

Centre: RAIC Centre for Architecture

Program: Graduate Diploma in Architecture

This course is not available for challenge.

Credit may be transferred for previous work considered equivalent.

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Architecture 525 introduces students to the art and science of light and lighting. It discusses the interaction of light, lighting application technologies, and their physiological and psychological impact on people. ARCH 525 also focuses on visual characteristics, inter-relationships with adjacent systems, performance, and cost efficiency.

Architecture is experienced through all the senses, but the primary mode is visual. Both daylighting and electric lighting play essential roles in shaping the experience.


The course is divided into three major parts, and is further divided into a total of nine units, as listed below:

Part 1: Human Factors in Lighting

  • Unit 1: Lighting Spaces: An Overview
  • Unit 2: Light and Perception
  • Unit 3: Lighting Program Requirements: Guides, Standards, and Research for Creative Lighting Solutions

Part 2: Lighting Design and Application

  • Unit 4: Lighting Design Principles and Process
  • Unit 5: Applied Lighting Design
  • Unit 6: Quantitative Analysis in Lighting Design

Part 3: Lighting Technology

  • Unit 7: Daylighting
  • Unit 8: Electric Lighting Sources
  • Unit 9: Electric Lighting Luminaires

Learning Outcomes

ARCH 525 will provide you with an understanding of techniques for evaluating an illumination design for a space considering a wide range of criteria, including perception, physiological requirements and impacts, system efficiency and effectiveness, and sustainable design.

Course Evaluation

Your work in this course will be evaluated based on three assignments and the final examination. Assignments 1, 2, and 3 (worth 25% each) consist of problems and questions drawn from the units. The final examination will cover the entire course and is worth 25% of your final grade.

To receive credit for ARCH 525 students must complete all three assignments and the final examination. The minimum pass mark for the final exam is 50%.

Grades will be distributed as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 (Part 1: Units 1, 2, and 3) 25%
Assignment 2 (Part 2: Units 4, 5, and 6) 25%
Assignment 3 (Part 3: Units 7, 8, and 9) 25%
Final Exam 25%
Total 100%

Students who wish to be certified by the CACB must achieve and maintain a final grade point average of 2.3 or greater. This means that, while a grade of 60% would constitute a pass in the course, a grade of 67% or greater is required for students who wish to pursue registration or licensing in architecture.

Course Materials

The course materials are listed below. If any of the print materials are missing from your course package, please contact the Course Materials department at Athabasca University as soon as possible. You may call Athabasca University, toll-free, from anywhere in Canada or the United States at 1-800-788-9041; ask to speak to someone in Course Materials (ext. 6366). Students in the Edmonton and Calgary areas are asked to call the local AU office to connect with the automated attendant, and then dial the four-digit extension. You may also send an email message to or write in care of Course Materials, Tim Byrne Centre, 4001 Hwy. 2 South, Athabasca AB, T9S 1A4, Canada.


Grondzik, Walter T., & Kwok, Alison G., (2015). Mechanical and electrical equipment for buildings (12th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. (eText)

Karlen, M., Spangler, C., & Benya, J. (2017). Lighting design basics (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. (eText)

Other Materials

The course materials also include an online study schedule, study guide and course website.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, Oct 10, 2018.

View previous syllabus