Duration: 8 weeks, 2 units/week

Module Introduction

According to the 2019 report of the Global Alliance for Building and Construction (UN Environment Programme) building construction and operations accounted for the largest share of both global final energy use (36%) and energy-related CO2 emissions (39%) in 2018. Any agenda that aims at reducing significantly CO2 emissions should put innovation in this sector at the core of its efforts. While policies and technology can provide new frameworks for the development of performance based architectural constructs, architects and engineers are called upon the unprecedented challenge of a cultural shift. Most contemporary architectural achievements are expressions of a design culture that considers power generated from fossil fuels as a cheap, unlimited source of energy, while all indicates that this is no longer a viable option.

Recovering a deep understanding of climate that used to be shared knowledge for builders and designers before the industrial revolution and reintroducing solutions that were perfected along the centuries to mitigate its impact on the built environment while taking advantage from its features is no longer a matter of choice. To cope with this challenge, architectural and engineering firms will have to integrate in their team experts trained in environmental design and Carbon neutral planning and designing for climate change, an area of expertise that sits at the forefront of both architecture and engineering.

Module Focus

The module goal is to provide an understanding of the principles, strategies and analytic techniques of environmental design as well as computational modelling and the simulation of environmental processes in and around buildings. A key objective is to embed evidence-based environmental design thinking within the design process.

Students have the opportunity to apply this approach to the critical evaluation of case study projects and of their own proposals. The learning process is based on environmental performance targets. A series of thematic workshops and seminars are organized to address specific objectives, including the selection of material and components according to environmental criteria, the exploitation of renewable energy sources and techniques for water and waste management.

The Structure

ED 01: Intro to SED Theory and Tools (2 Unit- 06 Hours Lecture + Tutorials) Provides a general introduction to comfort and wellbeing; although buildings are the places where we spend more than 90 percent of our time in fact, strategies to promote health and well-being of the occupants are not always a priority at the design stage. The module covers a vast array of topics including quality of light, air, acoustics, both physical and visual access to nature through openings and windows. It introduces to the fundamentals of sustainable architecture and engineering, environmental modeling, behavioral science and public health.
ED 02: Climate, Context (2 Unit- 06 Hours Lecture + Tutorials) Provides a general introduction to the understanding of climate and its impact on human wellbeing. It covers vernacular architecture and the solutions and strategies that were developed for coping with climatic constraints, and how climate has been a driver of architectural language and cultural identity.
ED 03 Solar Control (2 Unit- 06 Hours Lecture + Tutorials)
ED 04: Ventilation, Air Movement (2 Unit- 06 Hours Lecture + Tutorials) Provides a general introduction to site analysis and its microclimate, while showing the range of natural cooling strategies available. It addresses passive cooling strategies that are most likely to suit particular climates, providing maps of different parts of the world. Introduces tools that can be brought together to produce integrated designs for new buildings and for retrofits with improved natural cooling.
ED 05: Thermal Studies (2 Unit- 06 Hours Lecture + Tutorials) Provides a general introduction to the performance of the building envelope that physically isolates the inside of the building from the outside environment while serving as an external protection to enhance the quality and control the indoor conditions irrespective of transient outdoor conditions. It addresses the performance of the building envelope opaque and transparent parts (walls, roofs, floors, and insulation, windows, skylights, and glass doors).
ED 06: Daylight
ED 07: Urban Comfort
ED 08: Simulations

SlideFoundations of Sustainability Healthy Materials and Sustainable Products THE RIGHT TO QUALITY SHELTER Project Track ARCHITECTURE AS A SOCIAL BUSINESS Project Track