Principles of Environmental Design - ARCH8270

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 7 30 (15) Richard Watkins checkmark-circle


The module consists of lectures that describe the important energy and material flows in a building and how these are driven and can be regulated. This includes methods for calculating the flow, storage and release of heat in a range of media including phase change materials, determining daylight provision, and calculations for providing sufficient passive ventilation.

Built exemplar buildings are explored and their success assessed. Building fabric and services are explained and how resource requirements for maintenance can be reduced, whilst maintaining the function of the building. Advanced materials and techniques are introduced. Life Cycle Analysis is used to provide a decision tool to assess the sustainability of design. Climate change presents a new challenge to design buildings to be sustainable in the context of projected, but uncertain weather conditions. Future scenarios are investigated to reveal the implications for changing design parameters.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 36 hours
Private study hours: 264 hours
Total study hours: 300 hours

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Case Study (5,000 words)

Reassessment methods
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Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Baker, N.V., Fanchiotti, A., Steemers, K. A. (1993). Daylighting in Architecture. James & James
Givoni, B. (1998). Climate considerations in building and urban design. Van Nostrand Reinhold
Goedkoop, M., Spriensma, R. (2001). The Eco-indicator 99: A damage oriented method for life cycle impact assessment: Methodology report. PRé,
Liddament, M.W. (1996). A guide to energy efficient ventilation. Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre,
Santamouris, M. (2003). Solar thermal technologies for buildings. James & James.
Thomas, R. (2002). Sustainable urban design: an environmental approach. Taylor & Francis

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate:

1 A comprehensive understanding of the driving forces for internal and external conditions and how they can be modified including: ventilation, lighting, heating, cooling,
sound attenuation, indoor air quality, comfort.
2 A critical awareness of the design approaches used, and their success or otherwise, in a range of good and bad exemplar buildings.
3 A thorough ability to analyse and assess buildings and possible design solutions on a life cycle basis so that decisions can be made based on long term sustainability.
4 A detailed understanding of the practical constraints on sustainable design in terms of context, and refurbishment and legislation.
5 A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the techniques, tools and advanced materials available for sustainable design.
6 A detailed understanding of the need and approaches required to design for future weather and climate.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate:

1 A comprehensive ability to design a building that fulfils its function with minimal resource requirements and for those to be met through sustainable means as far as
2 An ability to assess environmental claims for products/designs critically.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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