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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
ACE166 - Sustainable building renovation
Hållbar byggnadsrenovering
Syllabus adopted 2020-02-19 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPSEB
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Architecture and Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 22126
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: B

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0120 Project 5,0 c Grading: TH   5,0 c    
0220 Examination 2,5 c Grading: TH   2,5 c   13 Jan 2021 am J   09 Apr 2021 pm J,  19 Aug 2021 am J

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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic knowledge of building physics and HVAC design. BOM285 or similar, VIN032/ENM045 or similar.


The aim of the course is to equip the students with the knowledge and skills required to address economic, environmental and social sustainability in building renovation projects. The course provides an in-depth understanding of challenges and constraints in dealing with existing buildings (e.g. technical issues, economic limitations, socioeconomic challenges, indoor environmental quality, architecture/heritage, energy performance).
Lectures, practical applications and class activities acquaint students with methods for evaluating existing buildings and their HVAC systems (Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning), exploring renovation measures and evaluating their economic profitability. The students apply the acquired knowledge and skills in a group assignment, where they act as consulting teams in a sustainable renovation and partial repurposing project of a residential multifamily building.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

• demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the environmental impact of existing buildings and how renovation can help to minimize it

• define socioeconomic challenges in building renovation and differences in stakeholder perspectives

• plan and deliver a holistic technical evaluation of an existing building, focusing on the condition of the envelope, the Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning systems (HVAC) and the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)

• analyze and critically assess the energy and comfort performance of an existing building

• develop ideas for renovation measures to improve the performance of an existing building, based on its current limitations (form, structure, HVAC, materials, activity, etc).

• generate possible renovation packages from a range of possible solutions

• use appropriate methods to determine the profitability of proposed investments (present value, annual cost, internal interest rate, payback time)

• develop a final renovation package which considers multiple factors (energy efficiency, economy, indoor environment, architecture…)

• analyze and present the expected performance of a renovation package, verbally and in a written report


The course addresses multiple themes and topics relevant to sustainable building renovation: energy performance, indoor environment, socioeconomic impacts, profitability of investments, tenants’ and housing owners’ perspectives, architectural/cultural value, comfort and health.


The main topics and theory are introduced and developed through lectures during the first weeks of the course. Guest lectures by experts and experienced consultants provide further input and insights from realized renovation projects. Students work in teams on a renovation project, where they evaluate their proposed measures against performance indicators of the Swedish environmental certification scheme “Miljöbyggnad" using the commercial simulation program IDA Indoor Climate and Energy (IDA ICE). Students are given tutorials on how to use IDA ICE in their project. The renovation measures are also evaluated for their economic profitability and their consideration of social and architectural dimensions. Students are also asked to propose a new activity for part of the renovated building (partial re-purposing). This way, the project addresses both residential and non-residential activities, with their separate design requirements and considerations.


Excerpts from the book “Buildings and Energy- a systematic approach”, Standards and Guidelines (e.g. ISO 17772-1:2017, CIBSE and ASHRAE guides), scientific and popular science articles, lecture slides.

Examination including compulsory elements

The examination consists of two elements: 

1. Group performance- project

Assessment method: presentation and final report

2. Individual performance- examination

Assessment method: written exam

The final grade is weighted based on the credits of the two elements (project and exam).

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.