Sustainable Design Project - ARCH8300

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Spring Term 7 30 (15) Giridharan Renganathan checkmark-circle


In the context of climate change, the significance of sustainable design is of many fold. Ideally, to achieve sustainable design one should be able to trace the environmental impact from geography to individual space and vice versa. However, to make a meaningful and workable sustainable design, the designer should at least address the environmental changes that take place at human scale (˜1m) to city block scale (˜1km). This primarily involves knowledge in disciplines such as urban climatology, urban design/planning, architecture and engineering in order to address environmental issues related to layout, form, structure/construction and environmental performance. In this module, students will acquire basic knowledge related to above-mentioned disciplines and develop a sustainable design proposal incorporating suitable passive/low carbon technologies that are applicable to the context.

Advanced techniques and methodologies for analysis of local climatic conditions, site, and building proposals lead to the development of environmentally sustainable design proposals with a focus on achieving low energy buildings.

The influence of materials, form and construction on environmental performance and waste management will be examined with reference to sustainable design principles, benchmarks and precedents.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 53 hours
Private study hours: 247 hours
Total study hours: 300 hours

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Design Proposal and Report (100%)

Reassessment methods
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Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Emmanuel, M. R. (ed.) (2016) Urban climate challenges in the tropics: rethinking planning and design opportunities. London: Imperial College Press.
Guzowski, M. (2010) Towards zero-energy architecture: new solar design. London: L. King. Hindrichs, Dirk U and Daniels, Klaus (eds). (2007) Plus minus 20°/40° latitude: subtropical building design in tropical and sub tropical regions. Basel: Birkhauser.
Hyde, R. (2000). Climate responsive design: a study of buildings in moderate and hot humid climates. Taylor & Francis.
Keeler, M. and Vaidya, P. (2016) Fundamentals of integrated design for sustainable building. Second edition. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley
Kwok, A and Grondzik, PE. (2011) (2nd ed). The green studio handbook: environmental strategies for schematic design. Oxford: Architectural Press.
Latham, I. and Swenarton, M (eds). (2007) Feilden Clegg Bradley: the environmental handbook. The Right Angle.
Lechner, N. (2008) (3rd Ed). Heating cooling and lighting – sustainable design methods for architects. Wiley.
O'Cofaigh, Eoin. (1996) (Energy Research Group, University College Dublin.) The climatic dwelling: an introduction to climate responsive residential architecture. James and James.
Rassia, S.T. and Pardalos, P.M (eds). (2012) Sustainable Environmental Design in Architecture: Impacts on Health. New York: Springer New York
Scott, A. (1998) Dimensions of sustainability: architecture form, technology, environment, culture. Abingdon: E & FN Spon

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 An ability to analyse the macro and microclimate relevant to a site and produce an appropriate sustainable environment response.
2 A systematic understanding of the impact of building orientation, form, massing and vegetation and water features on the internal environment and energy use.
3 A good understanding of the differing environmental control requirements for buildings depending on building type and the climate and region in which they are located.
4 An ability to use theoretical knowledge and prediction methodologies to create appropriate sustainable design strategies.
5 An ability to understand, analyse and reflect upon their design with respect to the internal and external environmental conditions created in a particular climate and
6 An ability to work in design teams which take into account the approaches and the needs of different professional disciplines.

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

1 Students shall demonstrate an understanding of advanced research principles, the ability to analyse source materials, and form original hypotheses.
2 Students shall demonstrate the ability to produce sophisticated and imaginative solutions to demanding problems.
3 Students shall demonstrate the ability to conduct project work independently or within a team of research collaborators.


  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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