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Syllabus for

Academic year
ARK465 - Sustainable architectural design
Syllabus adopted 2016-02-08 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPDSD
22,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Architecture
Department: 55 - ARCHITECTURE

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0112 Project, part A 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c    
0212 Project, part B 15,0 c Grading: TH   15,0 c    

In programs



Univ lektor  Barbara Rubino
Senior forskare  Krystyna Pietrzyk


ARK186   Sustainable building 1 ARK191   Sustainable building 2 ARK242   Sustainable building 3 ARK243   Sustainable building

  Go to Course Homepage


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

Bachelor Degree or similar in Architecture, Architecture and Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Interior Architecture


As global concern increases about climate change, so does the importance of low-carbon, resource efficient building. Designers are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental responsibility and the impacts of their work. Clients and end-users have increasing expectations to occupy environmentally efficient and healthy buildings along with the increasing risks associated with the poor environmental performance of the built environment.
The students are induced to develop the knowledge, skills and tools to be able to design, plan and construct, evaluate and advise on, the creation of low-carbon, sustainable buildings as well as evaluate the environmental impacts of their decisions.
The studio is specifically designed to meet the need for buildings to be judged be their actual performance as much as by their appearance, and to demonstrate sustainability in terms of:
- their global impacts with regard to climate changing emissions and use of finished resources
- their impacts on local levels of pollution and waste
- their ability to positively contribute towards sustainable development and human well-being

The overall aim is to promote an interdisciplinary and strategic integrated approach to design that will enable future professionals to integrate their skills and cooperate in achieving genuinely excellent environmental performance in buildings.

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

Skills and ability
At the end of the studio the student shall demonstrate the ability to:
- collaborate in a design process, defining a specific professional contribution in a design team
- visualize and communicate the performance of a building concerning energy efficiency, environmental impacts and indoor climate
- combine design with investigation
At the end of the studio the student shall demonstrate skills in:
- describing and analyzing the main features of sustainable buildings
- visualizing technical problems and technical solutions
- using a diverse range of tools and strategies in order to promote the design of integrated systems for healthy indoor climate and resource efficiency on a larger scale.
Knowledge and Understanding
On completion of the studio the student shall demonstrate:
- understanding of the different implications of design for sustainable architecture
- broad understanding of various and diverse approaches to resource efficiency
- insight into particular disciplinary frameworks commonly used in sustainable design projects.


The concept of sustainable building is introduced, both as principles and as chosen elements in design assignments. The students are trained to carry out design for sustainable architecture, integrating environmental, functional, technical and aesthetical qualities in a project.
Passive- and active house design strategies are presented related to different definitions of sustainable building. Three main approaches give structure to the design work:
1. Climate and Buildings
2. Passive and Active building design strategies
3. Integrated solar engineering

The design assignment consists of delivering a complete design documentation in which architects cooperate in groups. The tasks are defined in a program delivered in connection with the course start. The visual presentation of technical problems and technical solutions is central in all deliveries as a mean to communicate the issues of sustainable building between professional groups and to a larger public.


The teaching and learning methods reflect the wide variety of topics and techniques associated with sustainability, low-emission and resource efficient design.
Staff-led lectures define the framework, background and knowledge base. Analysis, synthesis and application of the material introduced in the lectures are achieved through professional- and staff-led workshops, group and one-to-one tutorials, student-led seminars, case studies and practical design work in the project.
For further information about admission and registration, please contact the Student Centre.


Literature will be discussed and the assignments will be distributed in connection with the course start


In order to obtain a pass in this studio the student is expected to attend the compulsory modules. Final grading will be given to the teams with the possibility to enhance individual grading. Further, the following requirements must be fulfilled: a) Deliveries of design tasks that pass each assessment from teachers and guest critics; b) Delivery of the final rapport; and finally c) Individual elaborations integrated into the design process that will give a chance to enhance individual grading if necessary.

Page manager Published: Thu 03 Nov 2022.