Architectural technology students to help homeowners


Students in Sheridan’s Architectural Technology program will soon be starting their home renovation projects in their building renovations course to help homeowners.

The course is for students in their third year and fifth semester of the program.

This is a model of a finished house (Photos by Cory Morrison/The Sheridan Sun).

“The renovations course has been going on for more than 20 years in the School of Architectural Technology,” said Dave Wackerlin, vice-dean of Applied Science and Technology. “The idea behind it is to provide students with some experiential learning where they get to do an internship with a real project. They get to learn how to not only work in the residential level, but work with clients as well as work with time constraints that happen in the industry.”

Dan Acimovic, a professor in the program who leads the building renovations course, said the course starts off with schoolwork before the projects begin later in the semester.

“The course is broken down into seven weeks with an academic exercise and a project,” said Acimovic in a phone interview. “The second half of the semester is where real-life clients get involved.”

This is a model of an unfinished house.

Acimovic said that the project is broken down into three steps:

  • Students pair up in teams of two to work on site plans, floor plans, and building sections.
  • Students work on a preparation proposal which involve additions and renovations to homes.
  • Students prepare one polished presentation for their homeowner and in-class, as well as proposed floor plans, elevations, and 3D models.

Acimovic also said that the project works best for single detached homes because of the amount of space available.

“We usually do single family detached homes,” he said. “Semi-detached homes are somewhat difficult, and townhouses and especially condos we cannot add additions to.”

Terry Davison, associate dean of the School of Architectural Technology, said that he likes how the project brings students into the life of the profession. 

Dave Wackerlin, vice-dean of the School of Architectural Technology, talks about how faculty and students help homeowners.

“For the students, it’s almost reaching the true professional level when they get to deal with real people, real problems, and potentially real projects,” he said. “It takes them away from the conceptual school exercise from the abstract to the ‘these are real people, they want to get you, they want to eat it in, these people will live here’. It just brings a whole lot of the impact that domestic architecture has on people’s lives.”

Wackerlin said that faculty engages clients with the following:

  • Conceptual design.
  • Visualizations such as images and perhaps a movie of what the finished renovation might look like.
  • Advice on which design decisions might be best.

Wackerlin also said that there are differences with this project from how other professionals may provide services to homeowners.

Terry Davison, associate dean of the School of Architectural Technology, talks about how the project engages students.

“They are not going to get finished works, contracts with a contractor, or a design that’s ready to be submitted to permit, because those are duties that the public would be reasonably expecting to pay an architectural technologist to undertake,” he said. “Sometimes we will leave a proposal with people they might engage and hire as architectural technologists in the industry to complete the design they choose to go for.”

Contact Dan Acimovic at if interested in receiving renovations services from Sheridan’s Architectural Technology Program.

About Cory Morrison 0 Articles
Cory Morrison is a second-year Journalism student at Sheridan College. He has well-known passions for writing and weather reporting. His passions for these two things inspired him to enroll in Sheridan's Journalism program. He also has autism spectrum disorder.