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Architectural Technologies (Building Sciences and Interior Design)

Diploma

Program Overview

Architectural technologists are involved at every stage of building design and construction, from blueprints to building codes and from interior design to space planning. It’s a great career for detail-oriented, visual thinkers who enjoy working in a technology-driven environment. You’ll be able to work in residential, commercial and institutional design and construction.

Architectural Technologies is a three-year diploma offered full time at Saskatchewan Polytechnic Moose Jaw campus. It includes five academic semesters and three four-month Co-operative Education work terms. The program offers two areas of concentration: Building Sciences and Interior Design. The first three semesters are common to both areas. You’ll focus on residential design and wood frame construction (National Building Code - Part 9), and build knowledge and skills in:

  • properties and function of construction materials
  • criteria and methods of building construction and design
  • preparation of construction documents
  • construction contract administration

In your fourth and fifth semesters, you’ll focus in on your chosen area. In Building Science, you’ll receive an introduction to commercial and institutional building construction with emphasis on construction detailing and methods, structural systems, environmental controls and the building envelope (National Building Code - Parts 3 and 4).

In Interior Design, you’ll receive an introduction to commercial and institutional interior construction with an emphasis on interior finishes, detailing and methods, space planning, lighting design and material selection (National Building Code - Parts 3 and 4).

Your co-operative work term counts as courses. You pay tuition and receive credit, but you also get paid. It’s a great way to gain valuable experience while earning a salary.

Diploma to Degree

Use your Architectural Technologies diploma as a stepping stone to the Bachelor of Interior Design degree program at RCC Institute of Technology or the Bachelor of Technology degree program at Memorial University in Newfoundland.

Learning Environment

  • 42 students are accepted each year.
  • Students will experience studio and project work, lectures and co-operative work terms. 
  • Class hours are 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily. Students are expected to complete 30-40 hours of homework each week outside of class time.
  • There are many group projects that require coordination.
  • It is very important that students take initiative and manage their work time effectively.
  • Students select their specialization after successfully completing the third semester

International applicants are not currently considered for admission to this program.

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

Graduates are prepared for a variety of careers in the building design construction industry. Many graduates are self-employed consultants in the home building industry while others work for architects, engineers, interior designers, home designers, facility managers, developers, contractors or construction specialty companies.

For more information about career opportunities related to this program, contact Student Employment Services at the campus nearest you.

Potential Careers

Sample Job TitleNOC Classification1Earning Potential2
Construction Estimator/Project ManagerConstruction Estimators (2234)$32,700 - $144,000
Architectural/Interior DesignerArchitectural Technologists and Technicians (2251)$21,900 - $109,800
Technical Sales/Specification WriterTechnical Sales Specialists - Wholesale Trade (6221)$31,200 - $100,100

What's the Work Like?

  • Read and analyze building codes, by-laws, space requirements, site requirements and other technical documents and reports
  • Prepare manual and computer-assisted design drawings, specifications, cost estimates and listings of quantities of material from drawings and instructions
  • Build architectural and display models, and 3-D virtual models of architectural designs
  • Prepare contracts and bidding documents
  • Assist in the development of architectural designs
  • Estimate costs and materials required and may advise on leasing, real estate and marketing
  • Prepare plans and specifications for the final interior designs in accordance with current practices and codes
  • Develop detailed plans and 3-D models showing arrangement of walls, dividers, displays, lighting and other fixtures using computer-assisted design (CAD) software and graphics software
  • Develop plans, elevations, cross sections and detailed drawings, and advise on selection of colours, finishes and materials, floor and wall coverings, window treatments, interior and exterior lighting, furniture and other items,
  • supervise drafters, technicians and technologists on the architectural team
  • supervise construction projects and co-ordinate, monitor and inspect work done by others.
  • Communicate with clients to determine needs, preferences, safety requirements and purpose of space
  • direct site work crews and subcontractors.

Below is a list of skills (with examples) that are important in this line of work. This section is based on the Essential Skills Profiles developed and available through the Government of Canada.


  • Specifications manuals for building projects.
  • Emails on a variety of topics from clients, architects, engineers, designers and other technicians and technologists.
  • Building codes, zoning regulations, energy consumption regulations, by-laws and other national, provincial and municipal regulations.
  • Referring to tables included in building codes, by-laws and best practice guides to verify structural design requirements. 
  • Reviewing architectural drawings to ensure that design criteria have been satisfied and specifications have been respected.
  • Completing extensive development and building permit application forms 
  • Writing emails to co-workers, colleagues and clients to schedule or confirm meetings.
  • Writing minutes of project meetings using established formats.
  • May prepare comprehensive building specifications. These specifications comprise detailed descriptions of tasks to be performed, materials, products, accessories, standards and processes to be used, procedures for changes to contract and other contract requirements.
  • Totaling clients' bills, multiplying the numbers of hours worked on projects by hourly rates, add extra charges for courier fees and permits and calculate applicable taxes.
  • Calculating areas and volumes of complex shapes. For example, the volume of kidney-shaped swimming pool.
  • Estimating the number of project hours which should be assigned for various design tasks. 
  • Speaking with interior designers, engineering technologists and structural, mechanical, electrical and civil engineers to coordinate design and construction processes.
  • Questioning clients to identify their intentions for buildings and interior spaces, their budgets and timeframes and their aesthetic preferences and functional requirements.
  • Thinking example 1:  If an technologist experienced difficulties getting building or development permits approved they may discuss the difficulties with co-workers and consultants, review building codes, zoning regulations, by-laws and other relevant documents to ensure that architectural designs are compliant with rules and regulations.
  • Thinking example 2:  Decide which contractors to select or recommend for construction work after reviewing various tenders to determine which contractors offer the best prices and most feasible work plans. 
  • Using communication software to exchange emails and attached documents with clients, contractors and members on their design teams.
  • Using spreadsheets to track client .space and site requirements, analyze data and prepare detailed cost estimates.
  • Using computer-assisted design to prepare two-dimensional drawings and three-dimensional models of proposed architectural designs. 

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s):

September



Length: 76 weeks
There are five academic semesters and three mandatory four-month paid Co-operative Education work terms. Semesters and co-op work term time patterns are listed in Courses below.

Locations

  • Moose Jaw

Admissions

Admission Requirements

 

*Previous Saskatchewan mathematics requirement also accepted: 

  • Minimum combined average of 70% in Math A30, B30, and C30

Special Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through a special admission assessment. Interested individuals should still apply. Applicants are automatically considered for special admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met. Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Special Admission.

ACCUPLACER©

  • 90 Arithmetic
  • 50 College Level Math
  • 85 Elementary Algebra
  • 85 Reading
  • 85 Sentence

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as books and supplies. For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program, click here to access the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus Tuition and Fee Schedules.

 

Year 1 - $7,500
Year 2 - $7,500
Year 3 - $2,600

Courses

The program follows this academic and co-operative education schedule. Courses are outlined below by semester.
  Sept - Dec Jan - Apr May - Aug
Year 1 Semester 1 Semester 2 Work term 1
Year 2 Semester 3 Work term 2  Semester 4
Year 3 Work term 3  Semester 5  
Expand All +

PLAR & Transfer Credit

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways and through many different means. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.


Student Awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. You don't have to be a brainiac to receive a student award. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships

Accreditation

American Council for Construction Education (ACCE); Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB)

The Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists’ (CCTT) Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB) accredits the program at the Technologist level. The American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) also accredits the program as an International Associate Degree Program.

The educational unit shall demonstrate accountable behavior by providing information about its accredited degree programs to the general public.

Institutions shall broadly and accurately publish the objectives of the degree program, admission requirements, degree program assessment measures employed, the information obtained through these assessment measures and actions taken as a result of the feedback, student achievement, the rate and types of employment of graduates and any data supporting the qualitative claims made by the degree program.
 Program Objectives, Assessment and Quality Improvement Plan

Mission Statement

The Architectural Technologies program provides students with the highest quality preparation for employment and leadership in all aspects of Saskatchewan’s building design and construction industry.

Goals

We endeavour to become…

  • the school of first choice for premier high school graduates and highly motivated university transfers.
  • a program that challenges students to discover abilities and performance levels beyond their expectations.
  • industry’s first choice for hiring students and grads.

We endeavour to provide…

  • complete preparation to work in all aspects of residential design and construction.
  • a comprehensive general introduction to all aspects of design and construction for commercial building types.
  • the highest level of architectural drafting skills.
  • specialized knowledge in residential, commercial and institutional building code, construction detailing and project management.
  • leadership in sustainable construction practices.

Measurable Objectives

  • Program Design: documented learning outcomes validated by industry.
  • Student Evaluation: valid assessment of each student and learning outcome
  • Program Delivery: active learning on the part of students.
  • Student Intake: a full complement of new students each September.
  • Student Progression: a high rate of student retention each semester.
  • Learning Resources: a rich diversity of learning activities and resources.
  • Student Support: students are able to make informed and intelligent decisions.
  • Employment: full training-related co-op and graduate employment.
  • Industry Relations: program grads become successful employers.

Program Outcomes (ACCE)

Upon graduation from this ACCE accredited program, a graduate shall be able to:

  1. Demonstrate effective communication, orally, graphicallyand in writing.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to estimate quantities and costs for the bidding process in a construction project.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to schedule a basic construction project.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to use current technology related to the construction process.
  5. Createconstruction documents (contracts, specifications, and drawings) used in managing a construction process.
  6. Apply basic principles of construction accounting.
  7. Use basic surveying techniques used in a building layout.
  8. Discuss basic principles of ethics in the construction industry.
  9. Identify the fundamentals of contracts, codes, and regulations that govern the construction industry.

10. Recognize basic construction methods, materials and equipment.

11. Recognize basic safety hazards on a construction site and standard prevention measures.

12. Recognize the basic principles of structural design.

13. Recognize the basic principles of mechanical, electric and plumbing systems.

14. Design Part Nine residential buildings.

15. Participate in design of Part Three commercial buildings.

Program Outcomes (CTAB)

Upon graduation of this CTAB accredited program, a graduate shall be able to:

GC 01. Research, analyze, prepare, document, submit and present a Technology Report (Capstone Project) relating to a significant technology-related issue.

GC 02.3  Apply the knowledge of advanced algebra, matrix and calculus methodologies to resolve applied science/engineering technology problems.

GC 03. Apply the current practices of project management to applied science and engineering technology projects consistent with the discipline requirements.

GC 04. Apply the principles of physical and natural science.

GC 05. Apply the knowledge of business/management principles, ethics, sustainability, contract law, codes and standards.

GC 06. Obtain and analyze data, and prepare and document data.

GC 07. Utilize computer software, hardware and other technological tools appropriate and necessary to performance of tasks.

GC 08. Apply knowledge of health and safety practices to minimize exposure to unsafe conditions and ensure a safe working environment for oneself and co-workers.

AB 02. Apply basic architectural principles in building design and detailing.

AB 03. Communicate effectively with clients, contractors, and other building professionals and municipal authorities. (Interior Design)

AB 05. Apply the principles of building science and construction to analyze and evaluate design and detail construction projects. (Building Science)

AB 07. Prepare, analyze and interpret bid/contract documents.

AB 08. Analyze and coordinate the relationship between architectural, structural, electrical and environmental building systems.

AB 10. Inspect and evaluate existing buildings and prepare renovation/restoration proposals.

Average number of applicants over the past five years: 90

Program capacity in first semester: 42

We recommend that prospective students apply in the fall of their final year of high school. 

Program Review Policies

All programs are subject to institute-wide program review policies, including…

Phase I: Accountability

The phase I review will consist of a summary of data gathered by Institutional Research and Analysis (IRA) and will be prepared annually for base programs. IRA will prepare an Annual Phase 1 Review Performance Results report on the key factors and performance indicators that have readily available quantifiable data. This report will include an assessment of the program’s results based on the benchmark for each performance indicator. The data are primarily a numerical consolidation of annual program metrics including:

  • Application trends
  • Enrolment trends
  • Graduate trends
  • Withdrawal trends and main reasons
  • Equity participation rates
  • Graduation and withdrawal rates by cohort

 

The report will also contain results from the most recent graduate employment and student surveys including:

  • Graduate employment rates
  • Student satisfaction
  • Graduate satisfaction
  • Market demand for graduates

 

The Annual Phase I Review Performance Results will be provided to the senior vice-president academic, division deans and program heads. The program heads and division deans will meet to discuss program performance using the data to inform future planning. The discussion will also include any feedback from program advisory committee meetings.

Phase II: Sustainability

The phase II review will occur for all base programs and will consist of the Saskatchewan Polytechnic education framework analysis including a gap analysis. The Saskatchewan Polytechnic education framework analysis will examine the following key areas:

  • Program design
  • Student evaluation
  • Program delivery
  • Student intakes
  • Student progression
  • Learning activities and resources
  • Student support

 

Participation in the education framework gap analysis will include the division program development consultant, program head and the dean or associate dean as well as program faculty as needed. The review will identify strengths and opportunities for improvement in each of the key areas and will outline a plan to meet any deficiencies. Following each education framework review, results will be discussed with the program advisory committee.

Results of the phase II review will be communicated as follows:

  • If identified changes constitute a major revision, a major revision proposal will be developed and presented to program council and deans’ council for approval.
  • If changes do not constitute a major revision, a summary of results will be submitted to deans’ council for information and to provide a written record. A minor revision proposal will also be developed if required.
  • If identified changes recommend suspension or discontinuation of a program, the dean will consult with the senior vice-president, academic. The suspension or deletion will be detailed in the Saskatchewan Polytechnic operating and capital plan and submitted through deans’ council and the president, as required, per the academic authorities’ grid.

 

Program Review Frequency

  • Phase I reviews will be conducted annually for all base programs.
  • All base programs will conduct a phase II review to be held a minimum of every five years.
  • Deans will be responsible to set phase II review cycles in their divisions.

 

External Accreditation/Program Approval

Many programs are accredited by an external agency or approved by a professional association. Accreditation/approval provides a comprehensive examination of curriculum and other key program components based on fixed standards. Preparation for accreditation/ approval is the responsibility of the program and will be conducted per accrediting body timelines.

An accredited/approved program may also choose to have optional research done. This will supplement the accreditation/approval findings by providing information in any areas that the accreditation/approval did not cover.

Preliminary Evaluation

  • The Architectural Technologies program has more applicants than seats.
  • The retention rate in each semester is about 90%.
  • Over 90% of students are employed during co-op work terms.
  • Over 90% of students are employed after graduation.  
  • A program grad has won a medal in Skills Canada each year since 2000.

External Processes

The Architectural Technologies program is accredited by the Canadian Technologies Accreditation Board (CTAB). The accreditation was renewed in July 2014 for the 2014-2017 three year period.

The Architectural Technologies program is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE). The program was reaccredited in 2015-2021 period.

Graduates routinely receive transfer credit to the architectural degree program at Montana State University.

Internal Processes

The Architectural Technologies program is subject to the same continuous internal reviews and program vitality studies as all other programs. This has included employer focus groups in 2008 and 2009 and curriculum validations in 2011.

In response to this input, formal program major revisions were approved in March 2012 for immediate implementation.

School policy requires that each program must be reviewed every six years. A formal review of the Architectural Technologies program was conducted in July 2014, including student, graduate and employer surveys.

This was followed by a GAP Analysis in August 2015 and Advisory Committee recommendations in September 2015

The program was reviewed and upgraded to the New Curriculum Model, effective fall 2017.

ESSENTIAL ELEMENT 1. PROGRAM DESIGN

Information Obtained: Some English-Second-Language students have difficulty keeping up with lectures.

Actions Resulting: Will recommend to Dean that a bridging program be created to teach construction terminology to ESL applicants.

ESSENTIAL ELEMENT 2. STUDENT EVALUATION

Information Obtained: Assessment documents have not been completed. This is useful for standardized marking, student information and succession planning.

Actions Resulting: All assessment documents will be completed as part of aligning with the academic model in 2017-18.

Information Obtained: Students not well informed about how they will be evaluated.

Actions Resulting: All syllabi now show percentage breakdown of grades within one year. Rubrics to be prepared for all assignments.

Information Obtained: There is no mechanism for partial students to pick up out-of-sequence courses.

Actions Resulting: Extension courses have been created to permit out-of-sequence instruction/evaluation.

Information Obtained: Instructors don’t always provide timely feedback.

Actions Resulting: New rubrics and web-based assessment have improved both timeliness and quality.  

Actions Resulting: Use more learner-to-learner feedback in classroom.

Actions Resulting: Increased formative feedback at intermediate stages.

Information Obtained: Students perceive a shortage of computers.

Actions Resulting: Request for more computers, which have been installed.

CUSTOMIZED ELEMENT 3. PROGRAM DELIVERY

Information Obtained: Course information is inconsistent.

Actions Resulting: We now use course management software in all courses.

Information Obtained: Part-time instructors do not provide consistent documentation.

Actions Resulting: New assessment documents, rubrics and course management software will be made available to part-time staff.

CUSTOMIZED ELEMENT 4. STUDENT INTAKES

Information Obtained: Students drop off waiting list.

Actions Resulting: Meet with accepted students 3 months prior to first semester.

CUSTOMIZED ELEMENT 5. STUDENT PROGRESSION

Information Obtained: Student workload is an issue.

Actions Resulting: All courses have been reviewed to remove redundant work.

CUSTOMIZED ELEMENT 6. LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND RESOURCES

Information Obtained: Lab and study space for unstructured time is limited.

Actions Resulting: Will try to provide more access to computers.

Information Obtained: Purchased text books are not all “needed:

Actions Resulting: Will ask instructors to consider “recommended” texts and e-books.

SUPPORTIVE ELEMENT 7. STUDENT SUPPORT

Information Obtained: Some students are unprepared for the workload and time commitment.

Actions Resulting: Mandatory classroom time has be reduced. More personal tutorial time has been introduced.

SUPPORTIVE ELEMENT 8. EMPLOYMENT

Information Obtained: No current issues.

Actions Resulting: None.

SUPPORTIVE ELEMENT 9. INDUSTRY RELATIONS

Information Obtained: Under-use of alumni as a resource.

Actions Resulting: Will try to develop social network.

Student Awards

Students in the Architectural Technologies program have recently won Academic Achievement and Centennial Merit awards for overall average as well as specific awards for achievement in individual courses.

The Saskatchewan Association of Architects, the Interior Designers Association of Saskatchewan, Construction Specifications Canada, and the Saskatchewan Applied Science Technologists and Technicians all offer student awards.

Skills Canada

The Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) is the only national, multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in the country.

Every year, more than 500 young people from all regions of Canada come to SCNC to participate in over 40 skilled trade and technology contests.

Each year, the Architectural Technologies program sends a graduate to compete at the national competition. Competing against the best representatives from all across Canada, we routinely do better than any other school, winning a medal every year, usually a gold medal, since 2000.  

Applied Research Awards

The Architectural Technologies program often participates in applied research with industry partners. The Architectural Technologies program has won five awards from the Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development for a series of small projects including studies of a green roof, community gardens, 100-mile house and a project in Thailand which involved Sask Polytech students travelling to Thailand to build a school using local-sustainable materials.

In addition, the program won a federal NSERC grant for a study of energy consumption in commercial buildings.  

Co-operative Employment Program

All students are required to work three paid work terms with local employers. When a graduate seeks employment, they are looking for their fourth job, not their first.

Typically, the construction industry has been doing well and we have placed all students each semester.

During temporary economic downturns pertaining to resource prices, it sometimes takes longer to find employment. Our students and graduates have an edge over those without formal construction education.

Typical employment in a recent semester. (33 students)

   In Regina (14 positions)

  • Design firms (6)
  • Construction companies (2)
  • Residential and homebuilders (2)
  • Property managers (4)

   In Saskatoon (12 positions)

  • Design firms (2)
  • Construction companies (8)
  • Property managers (2)

   Other Saskatchewan (6 positions)

  • Design firms (4)
  • Property managers (2)

   Alberta (1 position)

  • Design firm (1)

Graduate Employment

In recent years all graduates have been employed in the building industry. Many return to a previous co-op employer. Others seek new opportunities.

Graduates may be employed in design offices, by homebuilders, by heavy construction companies, by property managers and by construction material suppliers.

Self-Employment

It is not unusual for a graduate with a few years’ experience to open their own design or construction management firm, usually in the residential sector. 

There is no better way to assess the program than to speak with former grads who now work in the construction industry. Contact the program and you will be put in touch with several grads.

Aggregate data is available.. Program specific data may be obtained from the dean’s office.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic routinely surveys students, graduates and employers. These are incorporated in the formal internal quality assessment process. Following are some recent survey results:

Students (percentage agreeing with the statement)

  • Overall, I am satisfied with this program. 100%
  • I would recommend this program to others. 80%
  • The instructors treat students with respect. 100%
  • Students are informed of how they will be evaluated. 90%
  • Student assessments focused on what was learned. 100%
  • The amount of hands-on experience is adequate. 90%
  • Student learning activities are effectively scheduled. 30%
  • The student workload is manageable. 30%
  • The shop/lab facilities are appropriate. 90%

Graduates (percentage agreeing with the statement)

  • Overall, I am satisfied with this program. 91%
  • I would recommend this program to others. 95%
  • The instructors treat students with respect. 95%
  • Students are informed of how they will be evaluated. 78%
  • Student assessments focused on what was learned. 91%
  • The amount of hands-on experience is adequate. 91%
  • Student learning activities are effectively scheduled. 55%
  • The student workload is manageable. 50%
  • The shop/lab facilities are appropriate. 82%

Employers of recent graduates (percentage agreeing with the statement)

  • Preparation for employment is adequate. 100%
  • Graduate has job related knowledge. 100%
  • Satisfaction with skills of graduate. 100%
  • Would hire a Saskatchewan Polytechnic grad in the future. 100%

Additional Information

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Part-Time Delivery

Some courses in this program might also be offered through part-time programming.

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