Materials Collection


Materials are central to all disciplines focused on the Architecture-Engineering-Construction industry. A Materials Library was created at Cal Poly as a learning resource for all students in the CAED intended to prepare them to enter a fast-paced world with a well-developed knowledge base and value set regarding resource use.

The Materials Collection has two related components: a physical collection located in the NRC (Neel Resource Center) and a searchable database accessible here. These resources are intended to complement one another, and each allows browsing. Associated with the Materials Collection is an Exhibits Area which regularly features information about the dynamic world of materials.

The Collection's creation was motivated by three primary considerations:

  1. Reducing the environmental impact of the AEC industry. With substantive knowledge of materials and their production, our students will develop into professionals who can contribute to the reduction of our environmental footprint.
  2. Responding to the emergence of BIM which requires designers to make knowledgable material and products choices at increasingly earlier stages of the design process.
  3. Enabling developing designers, engineers and managers to follow emerging trends in materials and building products.

Physical Collection of Samples

The Collection has a growing collection of material and product samples. Organized according to the CSI Masterformat, the collection allows easy access to specific products or simply browsing the shelves and exploring the sensory world of materials. Samples may be checked out for student use.

Materials Database

Every material or product in our physical collection has a barcode that links it to a searchable database. The database provides basic information and links to more in-depth information that enables thoughtful and informed selection of materials.


The Materials Collection includes an area for exhibits or presentations by manufacturers. It will feature regularly changing exhibits on the dynamic world of materials and tectonics. Watch for updates.


Materials Coordinator

Prof. Robert Arens
Phone: 805.756.1444


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  • Fall Term Classes Begin: September 20