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AR50346: Building design for low carbon use

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Essay/Report (CW 70%)
  • Excel 101 (CW 10%)
  • LT Method (CW 20%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
This unit is intended to introduce students to thinking in low carbon design alternatives. It will stress the precedence of design decisions over choices of heating and cooling systems or low and zero carbon technologies.

Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of the unit students will have demonstrated:
1. A critical understanding of the issues that have prompted the recent debate on low carbon buildings, demonstrating an ability to carefully consider complex arguments and balance opposing viewpoints in the scientific debate.
2. The ability to discriminate between energy efficiency and energy use in buildings.
3. Understand the relative impact of different energy options currently at the forefront of both the scientific and political debate, on building carbon emissions.
4. The ability to recognize and plan for current threats to low carbon design and develop deeper conceptual understanding to mitigate against future threats.
5. A comprehensive understanding of the current & future energy trends in the UK domestic and non-domestic sectors.
6. Critical awareness of the various standards, ratings and labels that can influence the carbon performance of buildings. This will include emerging UK as well as international trends.
7. Have an overview of various HVAC technologies relevant to the built environment and of costs of measures with reference to long term payback.
8. Independently test design options and strategically respond to complex design requirements whilst simultaneously optimizing carbon emissions.

1. Familiarity with and ability to use the LT method which emphasises critical thinking during early stage design decisions (taught / facilitated)
2. Presentation skills, particularly the ability to present critically reasoned design decisions with clarity (assessment)
3. Group working skills (facilitated)
4. Critically analyse environmental technologies and systems, respond to emerging trends and future policies and strategically plan design options that reflect their long term financial and environmental cost (facilitated)

1. Potential for low carbon design (energy use, energy efficiency, materials, on-site generation and storage)
2. Threats to low carbon design (comfort seeking, space utilization, lights and appliances, Khazzoom-Brookes postulate)
3. Thermal factors for heating & cooling (siting & orientation, grouping, insulation, ventilation, thermal response, fenestration & shading, modelling etc.)
4. Design and energy implications for the UK domestic and non-domestic sectors (energy / carbon trends, design impacts of current types of housing, future scenarios - systems, design options, legislation, exemplar projects)
5. Standards and regulation (influence of standards, UK and international trends - Building regulations, comfort standards, system efficiencies, lights and appliances, best practice standards & ratings (BREEAM), energy performance of buildings directive & labelling)
6. The LT Method (constraints, learning outcomes, materials, LT method steps & examples).
7. Passive technologies and costs of measures (life cycle costs, paybacks, percentage costs of new build / retrofitting).
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

AR50346 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering
  • TEAR-AFM12 : MSc Architectural Engineering: Environmental Design
  • TEAR-APM12 : MSc Architectural Engineering: Environmental Design
  • TEAR-AFL12 : PG Dip Architectural Engineering: Environmental Design
  • TEAR-APL13 : PG Dip Architectural Engineering: Environmental Design

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.