A SOS certified course for those who want to acquire the necessary practical skills to becoming Environmental Design Concultants in the fields of Architecture and Engineering(Basic Level).

Course Introduction

Environmental Design represents a dynamic and multifaceted realm deeply entrenched within the fabric of urban and architectural disciplines. In an era defined by the urgent imperatives of climate change, ecosystem preservation, and their profound impact on human well-being, environmental design has emerged as a pivotal force in contemporary urban and architectural practices. Today, designers must possess a nuanced understanding of the environment and its intricate interplay with ecological and human systems to shape sustainable and regenerative cities and buildings.

This course embraces the central role of environmental design within urban and architectural practices, intertwining the disciplines and imbuing participants with the knowledge and acumen necessary to address the challenges of climate change. By delving into climate change dynamics, ecosystem-centred design principles, locally mitigated microclimates, nature-inspired interventions, and bio-climatic architectural decarbonisation strategies for the built environment, participants will cultivate the expertise required to navigate these complexities effectively.

Leveraging the capabilities of Ladybug Tools, participants will embark on an experiential exploration of computational design and performance simulations, propelling them to push the boundaries of innovative ecologies, programs, morphologies, and material choices. Guided by the equations that delineate the ecological, climatic and human-physiological parameters, participants will engage in a ‘creative dance’ between conceptual aspirations and pragmatic solutions.

Module Objectives

  1. Learning Outcomes:
    Throughout this course, participants will understand the principles and practices underpinning environmental design. They will develop a holistic perspective on the complex interdependencies between the environment, urban systems, and architectural interventions. By studying climate change dynamics, ecosystem-oriented design strategies, locally mitigated microclimates, nature-based solutions, bio-climatic design principles, and decarbonisation approaches, participants will gain the knowledge needed to address contemporary environmental challenges effectively.

  2. Software and Tools:
    Participants can work with cutting-edge software and tools, including LadybugTools integrated with Grasshopper. These computational design platforms enable participants to conduct performance simulations and analyse their designs environmental and physiological impacts of their designs. By leveraging these tools, participants will gain hands-on experience utilising advanced computational techniques to inform and refine their design decisions.

  3. Skill Development:
    This course fosters the development of key competencies essential for successful environmental design practitioners. Participants will enhance their analytical skills by learning to interpret climate data and conduct performance simulations. They will strengthen their critical thinking abilities by analysing and evaluating design strategies that address climate change and promote sustainability. Additionally, participants will refine their design skills by exploring innovative approaches to programmatic organisation, form generation, and material selection that align with sustainable principles and climatic considerations.

  4. Final Project:
    As a culmination of their learning journey, participants will complete a final project showcasing their acquired knowledge and skills. The nature of the project will vary based on individual interests and professional goals. It could involve designing a sustainable building prototype, creating an urban intervention that promotes environmental resilience, or developing a climate-responsive master plan. The final project will demonstrate the participants' ability to integrate environmental design principles into their design practice.

  5. Professional Growth:
    Upon course completion, participants will emerge as highly skilled professionals equipped to make a meaningful impact on environmental design. They will possess the expertise to navigate the complexities of climate change, sustainability, and regenerative design. Graduates will be well-positioned to pursue careers as sustainable architects, urban designers, climate consultants, or environmental planners. Their comprehensive understanding of environmental design principles and proficiency in advanced software and tools will enable them to lead projects prioritising sustainability, resilience, and human well-being.

By attaining these course objectives, participants will become proactive agents of change, advocating for a sustainable future through their professional pursuits.

The Structure

Classes will last 6 hours (frontal theoretical lesson + tutorial) divided in 4 modules as below. Each lesson is characterized by a first theoretical part and a second part of tutorials and practical excercises.
ED01 - Understanding Climate Change Complexity and Weather File Analysis (2 Units- 6 Hours Lecture and Tutorials)

13 October 2023

In this module, participants will delve deep into the complexity of climate change and its implications for the built environment. They will comprehensively understand climate change data analysis and learn how to interpret weather files for design purposes. Through hands-on tutorials using LadybugTools, a powerful Grasshopper plugin, participants will explore various weather analysis techniques. These sessions will enable them to extract valuable insights and data for their design decisions. The practical exercises and group discussions will allow participants to apply the learned techniques to real-world scenarios and engage in knowledge-sharing activities.

1 Unit - Tutorial and Practical Exercise: LadybugTools tutorial on weather file analysis, focusing on understanding climate change data and its implications for design. Basics of Grasshopper, EPW file import, air temperature, relative humidity and radiation analysis via hourly and monthly graphs; wind analysis; solar geometry; psychrometric chart.

2 Unit - Lecture on: Complexity of climate change and its impact on the built environment, discussing relevant theories, case studies, and current research.
ED02: Nature-Based Solutions and Simple Modelling of Photosynthetic Activation (3 Units - 6 Hours Lecture and Tutorials)

20 October 2023

This module focuses on integrating nature-based solutions in mitigating the impacts of climate change. Participants will explore the principles of biophilic design, the benefits of green infrastructure, and the role of vegetation in creating sustainable and resilient environments. Through LadybugTools tutorials, participants will learn simple modelling techniques to assess the impact of photosynthetic activation. Practical exercises allow participants to apply these concepts and techniques to their design projects.

1 Unit - Tutorial and Practical Exercise: LadybugTools tutorial on modelling photosynthetic activation and assessing the benefits of vegetation in design. Direct sun hours; incident radiation; simplified accounting of vegetation and water on temperatures and humidity

2 Unit - Lecture on: Principles of biophilic design, the benefits of green infrastructure, and the role of vegetation in mitigating climate change impacts

3 Unit - Guest Lecture: Presentation on nature-based design strategies, sharing expertise and examples of successful projects implementing nature-based solutions to address climate change challenges.
ED03: Adapting Urban Microclimates to Climate Change (3 Units - 6 Hours Lecture and Tutorials)

3 November 2023

This module focuses on the critical aspect of adapting urban microclimates to climate change. Participants will explore strategies to mitigate the urban heat island effect , optimise natural ventilation, and enhance thermal comfort in urban settings. Through in-depth tutorials using LadybugTools, participants will learn to analyse urban microclimates and assess the performance of different design interventions. The practical exercises will provide hands-on experience in implementing these strategies and evaluating their effectiveness.

1 Unit - Tutorial and Practical Exercise: LadybugTools tutorial on urban microclimate analysis, covering topics such as heat island effect and thermal comfort assessment. Natural ventilation with Eddy3D; UTCI calculation with Honeybee.

2 Unit - Lecture on: Strategies for adapting urban microclimates to climate change, exploring relevant concepts, case studies, and design principles.

3 Unit - Guest Lecture: Presentation on innovative urban climate solutions, sharing insights and experiences on successful projects addressing climate change challenges in urban environments
ED04: Decarbonization of Buildings (2 Units - 6 Hours Lecture and Tutorials)

7 November 2023

This module focuses on decarbonising buildings and reducing their environmental impact. Participants will explore strategies for energy-efficient design, renewable energy integration, and the implementation of sustainable building systems. Through hands-on tutorials using LadybugTools, participants will learn to assess building energy performance and evaluate different decarbonisation strategies. Practical exercises will allow participants to apply these strategies to their design projects and analyse the environmental benefits.

1 Unit - Tutorial and Practical Exercise: LadybugTools tutorial on building energy performance analysis and decarbonisation strategies. Basic simulations of energy performance in buildings with Honeybee; comparison of different strategies.

2 Unit - Lecture on: Decarbonisation of buildings, exploring concepts, technologies, and case studies related to energy-efficient design and renewable energy integration.

Module Leader

Emanuele Naboni - Associate Professor

Dr. Emanuele Naboni has professorships at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, School of Architecture, University of Parma, Univerisity of Sevilla. He practices, teaches, researches globally and publishes in the field of Regenerative Environmental Design, and Design for Climate Change, at different scales: Urban, Buildings and Construction and Components; with a focus on linking Ecosystems and Humans via Digital Design.

Emanuele was Invited Professor at ETH Future Cities Lab in Singapore (2019), EPFL Lausanne (2016-17), Southeast University in Nanjing (2018), Architectural Association in London (2014) and University of California Berkeley (2013). ​Furthermore, he has been invited to lecture at international universities such as TU Delft, TU Munich, UC Berkeley, Aalto University, National University of Singapore, The University of Nottingham, Arup World Research, SOS of MCA, and several others.

Previously, he was design leader at the “Performance Design Studio” of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM) in San Francisco for a number of years (2006-2010) and a researcher for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, at the University of California, Berkeley (LBNL) (2005-2012).

On project bases, he has been collaborating with BIG, Arup, Kengo Kuma, William MC Donough, and Autodesk. He consulted for more than 10 masterplans and about 60 innovative buildings. At KADK he was professor for 10 years contributing to the fostering of the Master of Architecture in Extreme Environments, which featured a collaboration with NASA, and the CITA (computation and information in architecture) program. He has developed more than 10 full buildings and innovative climatic prototypes that were worldwide shown in places such as the Chicago Museum of Industry and Science, and the London Building Center.

He writes for RIBA, DETAIL and Taylor and Francis, and has published more than 60 journal articles. He is a reviewer of scientific contributions in several international journals of high impact factor with a number of 80 journals. He has written the books “Green Buildings Pay” and “Regenerative Design in the Digital Practice” and is currently contracted with Taylor and Francis, London, for the book “Tools for Environmental Construction Design” expected to be published in 2021. He is a European Project reviewer for the EU commission and works on several countries' national commissions for the evaluation of sustainable development strategies.

Emanuele was design leader at the “Performance Design Studio” of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM) in San Francisco for a number of years (2006-2010) and a Researcher for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, at the University of California, Berkeley (LBNL) (2005-2012). He has been collaborating on project bases with BIG, Arup, Kengo Kuma, William MC Donough, Autodesk. He won several international design competitions and prizes for sustainable design teaching. He has published more than 80 scientific publications and monographs with Taylor and Francis, Riba and Details.

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