academic resources // course accreditation

Course Accreditation Considerations

The National Architecture Accreditation Board (NAAB) develops and maintains an accreditation system in professional degree education that enhances the value, relevance, and effectiveness of the profession of architecture. Outlined below are recommendations on how cove.tool might be used to assist you as you seek compliance within this framework.

NAAB Program Shared Values

NAAB 2020 Program Criteria (PC)

PC2 - Design

How the program instills in students the role of the design process in shaping the built environment and conveys the methods by which design processes integrate multiple factors, in different settings and scales of development, from buildings to cities.

PC3 - Ecological Knowledge & Responsibility

How the program instills in students a holistic understanding of the dynamic between built and natural environments, enabling future architects to mitigate climate change responsibly by leveraging ecological, advanced building performance, adaptation, and resilience principles in their work and advocacy activities. 

PC5 - Research & Innovation

How the program prepares students to engage and participate in architectural research to test and evaluate innovations in the field.

NAAB 2020 Student Criteria (SC)

SC3 - Regulatory Context

How the program ensures that students understand the fundamental principles of life safety, land use, and current laws and regulations that apply to buildings and sites in the United States, and the evaluative process architects use to comply with those laws and regulations as part of a project.

SC4 - Technical Knowledge

How the program ensures that students understand the established and emerging systems, technologies, and assemblies of building construction, and the methods and criteria architects use to assess those technologies against the design, economics, and performance objectives of projects.

SC5 - Design Synthesis

How the program ensures that students develop the abilityto make design decisions within architectural projects while demonstrating synthesis of user requirements, regulatory requirements, site conditions,and accessible design, andconsideration of the measurable environmental impacts of their design decisions.

SC6 - Building Integration

How the program ensures that students develop the ability to make design decisions within architectural projects while demonstrating integration of building envelope systems and assemblies, structural systems, environmental control systems, life safety systems, and the measurable outcomes of building performance.

Commentary for Student Work (SC5 & SC6)

NAAB requests that accredited programs demonstrate SC5 (Design Synthesis) and SC6 (Building Integration) compliance through documented student projects. We encourage you to explore cove.tool to find alignment for your own program needs and to help your studios advance decarbonization and reduced EUI goals with speed and accuracy.

Disclaimer: Suggestions provided herein are not a guarantee of NAAB Program accreditation. This guidance is simply provided to assist programs seeking to enhance student learning through data-driven design outcomes while supporting published accreditation directives.


Interrogating Design with cove.tool

The dynamic relationship between our built and natural environments is critical to the proper education of our future design leaders in the AEC industry. The cove.tool suite supports this understanding holistically across multiple factors to test and evaluate design decisions. We provide ongoing education and research publications to support your faculty and your students.

Building Massing and Orientation

  • Orientation

  • Massing variables

  • Window Wall Ratios

  • Shading devices

Optimization interface:

  • Building envelope

  • Mechanical Systems

  • PV analysis

  • Cost factors

  • CO2 offsets

  • Payback (ROI)

  • Energy Savings

  • EUI

Research and Innovation 

  • Ongoing development of the software

  • New product features maintain pace with industry

  • Compliance and code updates are automated 

  • Cost and assembly research supported

  • Decarbonization prioritized

  • Webinars, Research papers, Case Studies 

  • Codes and rating systems

  • BIM integration

  • Building performance

  • Conference presentations on specialized topics