Architecture (ARCH) 525

Architectural Design: Lighting (Revision 3)

ARCH 525 Course Cover

View previous revision

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.

Check availability


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 four assignments. Assignments 1, 2, and 3 (worth 25% each) consist of problems and questions drawn from the units. Assignment 4 will cover the entire course and is worth 25% of your final grade.

To receive credit for ARCH 525 students must complete all four assignments.

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%
Assignment 4 (entire course) 25%
Total 100%

You must achieve a cumulative grade of 67% or higher to receive credit for ARCH 525.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

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

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

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 revision