Architecture and Sustainability: Design Tools and Environmental Control Techniques

Master's degree. Face-to-face.


UPC School


The master's degree programme is organized into the following modules. If you don't wish to take the entire master's degree you can sign on one or several modules.

Environmental Architecture And Urbanism

Postgraduate course face-to-face. Start date: 05/10/2016. Barcelona


Environmental Architecture History
3 ECTS. 30 teaching hours.
- Sustainable development: the size of sustainability.
- Environmental tradition throughout architectural history.
- Sustainable urban development.
Bioclimatic Design
3 ECTS. 24 teaching hours.
- Climate and architecture, the parameters of comfort.
- Passive solar design and low energy consumption in tropical, Mediterranean and cold climates.
- Natural lighting: design and calculations.
- Bioclimatic urbanism.
- Calculations for energy incorporated into materials and systems and CO2 emissions.
- Sustainable landscaping.
- Creating climatic graphs.
Bioclimatic Software
4 ECTS. 64 teaching hours.
Software: Useful tools for bioclimatic design and oversight:
-Weather Tool
Case Studies
5 ECTS. 44 teaching hours.
Visits to different buildings that are good examples of where the concepts explained and analysed in the theoretical classes have been applied and analysis of the examples presented by special professional guests.
Practice exercises: bioclimatic design
2 ECTS. 12 teaching hours.
A practice exercise that includes the development of a project that applies the knowledge and tools given to students during the course.
Introduction to active environmental oversight techniques. Classifying installations. Consumption of materials and energy. Energy and waste products.
4 ECTS. 30 teaching hours.
Passive and Active Resources.
Why Active Resources are used.
Regulation Criteria.
Installations: obligations and solutions.
Ways to minimise consumption. Options.
Security, Performance and Welfare.
Mandatory Requirements, Procedures used to comply with them.
The main working areas.
An optimistic view of the sustainability issue.
Terms, definitions, units and symbols.

Urban level, building level.
Air-conditioning installations and Service Installations.
Air-conditioning: Ventilation, Heating, Refrigeration, Humidity Control.
Water, Fuel, Electrical installations.
Installation of solid, liquid and gas extractor systems.
Installation of Protection, Transport, Telecommunications and Special Systems.
Land Conservation, rights, layouts and organisation of Architectural and Urban installations.

Consumption of materials and energy.
Efficiency criteria in Architecture and Urbanism.
The water cycle in nature and in terms of human consumption.
Consumable water. Different types of water for consumption. The cost of water (service and tax concepts involved in construction and management of a service infrastructure, waste water treatment and sewers).
Collecting water and making it potable. Treatment (pre-oxidation clarification, tuning, membrane treatment, nano-filtration, inverse osmosis, pH correction and final disinfection).

Primary energy, final energy. Consumption values - Efficiency.
The energy efficient label, energetic certification.
Metering and distribution of responsibility among consumers.

Material waste by-products, energy by-products.
Materials: solid, liquid and gaseous waste.
Collection and removal of solid waste.
Collection: door to door, waste containers on the street (above ground, submerged), fixed and mobile pneumatic.
Liquid and solid waste removal with humidity.
Rainwater, sewage (grey and black water) and industrial waste water.
Water collection systems.
Treatment of solid and liquid wastes.
Eco-parks, wastewater treatment plants and controlled dumping.
Gas extraction.
Energy pollutants: heat release, noise pollution, light pollution, electromagnetic fields, high frequency microwaves, radioactivity and electrostatic charges.
Application methods in Architecture and Urbanism.
Loads, demands and air-conditioning systems
5 ECTS. 35 teaching hours.
Transferring heat in buildings.
Maintaining comfortable conditions efficiently.
Destabilising factors.
Compensation levels (loads).
Criteria and formulas for applying load calculations.
Effects of the thermal oscillations and radiation on the parameters (opaque and transparent)
The thermal energy scale.
The effect of the energy scale on interior temperature variations.
Capacity and thermal distribution concepts.
Simple calculations for heating loads and thermal demands using improvements in insulation and ventilation.
Calculation of primary energy consumed by using improvements in system efficiency.
Calculations of the favourable elements that reduce demand.

The higrothermic scale. Sensitive heat and latent heat.
Maintaining comfortable conditions efficiently.
Destabilising factors.
Compensation levels (loads).
Criteria and formulas for applying load calculations.
Review of the use of the Psychometric Abacus.
Procedures for manual calculations. Simple examples.
Simplified calculation program, step by step.
Complex calculation programs on the market.

Heating systems and devices.
Cooling systems and devices.
Classes and description of different air-conditioning systems according to the RITE (Regulations for Thermal Installation in Buildings)
Ventilation systems. Conditions of ducted air (tempered, untreated, as part of an air-conditioning system).
Free cooling using ventilation
Air-conditioning, distribution methods for heat exchange fluids.
Classification and description of air-conditioning installations according to cooling and/or heat distribution system and according to the method of production.
Applications in Architecture and Urbanism.
Different ways of planning an air-conditioning system.
Refrigeration and Heating with water in floors and ceilings.
Renewable energies: solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, geothermal, wind power, biomass, co-generation and tri-generation.
5 ECTS. 35 teaching hours.
Different ways of collecting solar energy.
Types of collectors and performance levels.
Electromagnetic radiation concepts and properties.
Loss in collection as a result of orientation, inclination and shadows.
Solar Heated Water heating system components that utilise solar panels.
Calculating the surface area for capturing solar energy.
Dynamic simulations.
Collection volumes.
Different installation variants for solar thermal systems.
Solar Heated Water installations and Heating.
Solar refrigeration.

Methods for installing panels on architectural structures: General, Superimposition, Integration.
Different types of panels.
Examples of applications.
The Photoelectric and Photovoltaic effect.
Applications for the photovoltaic effect. Different types of installations.
The different parts that make up an installation.
Design schematics for autonomous installations connected to a network.
The Basic Document HE-5 of the CTE (Technical Building Code). Description of the content.
Connection modes of the different modules.
The usefulness of diode by-passes.
Characteristic curves of photovoltaic cells.
Radiation received and collected, and electricity generated.
Peak Solar Hours.
Different types of photovoltaic cells.
Calculation criteria.
The calculations manual explained step by step.
Recommended open source calculations programs.

Definition and types of geothermal energy.
Worldwide geothermal resources.
Systems and applications.
Very low temperature geothermal resources.
Geothermal gradients on the surface.
Geothermal collectors and heat pumps- Potential power exchange fluids.
Types of geothermal collectors: horizontal, panels, special wells.
Pre-sizing for cold and heat collectors connected to heat pumps.
Land characteristics.

Wind, its speed, its energy characteristics before passing through a rotor. Predicting wind behaviour.
Wind power machines, wind mills, turbines. Concepts, components and types.
Classification by power ratings.
Classification by the position of the rotor hub.
Sub-types and characteristics. Power curves.
Small wind power generators (≤ 50Kw).
Examples of the selection.
Commentary on the architectural location.

Biomass, concepts, its energy, photosynthesis, pyrolysis, fermentation and combustion.
The by-products of biomass consumption and its measurement in Kg of CO2.
Anaerobic digestion: biogas.
Biofuels and liquid biofuels.
Wood and solid fuels.
Biomass sources.
Advantages and disadvantages.
The most common transformation methods.
Examples of urban applications (districts and neighbourhoods) and architecture (buildings).

Concepts and types.
Using both heat and electricity.
Primary energies used.
Commentary about engines: external and internal combustion and turbines.
Application of heat to produce cold (its performance).
The legal framework. Viability. A case study.
Case Studies and visits
3 ECTS. 16 teaching hours.
Visits to different buildings that are good examples of where the concepts explained and analysed in the theoretical classes have been applied.
Infrastructures and Telecommunications
3 ECTS. 30 teaching hours.
Understand the infrastructure of installations that incorporate telecommunications and any type of information signal to be able to unify a project into one single system. Design of telecommunications and oversight systems of all kinds: domestic, corporate and industrial.
3 ECTS. 26 teaching hours.
Learn about the basic principles of automation. Development of applications using automation proposals in different types of architectural projects. Examples and applications based on programmable automated systems. Systems simulation program.
Domestic Automation Systems
3 ECTS. 26 teaching hours.
Description and assessment of systems on the market today classified according to their different characteristics. Analysis of existing standards. Proposals adapted to the construction of equipment. Assessment of proposals in terms of energy use and economic efficiency.
Oversight and Regulation. Centralised Management.
4 ECTS. 40 teaching hours.
Technologies used for developing management systems. Assessment of different proposals oriented towards understanding combined systems. Simulation programs used for adapting management systems to energy efficiency proposals for buildings. A detailed description of the possibilities for oversight and regulation in different types of applications. Adaptation of a system to an architectural proposal.
Field Trips
4 ECTS. 50 teaching hours.
Visits to eco-neighbourhoods with the participation of the administrators and technicians working there.
Visits to buildings that have been built using energy efficient strategies and low environmental impact.
Analysis and debate with local authorities about the urban policies for sustainable development.
Multidisciplinary Project Workshop
9 ECTS. 50 teaching hours.
A comprehensive project workshop that attempts to integrate and apply all of the theoretical knowledge taught during the course into a real project, all with the assistance of programme professors.
Information form
(34) 93 401 63 70


Next course:
October 2017

(512 teaching hours)

Monday  16:00 to 21:00Wednesday  10:00 to 14:00  16:00 to 21:00
Taught at:
ETSAB - Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona
Av. Diagonal, 649. Edifici A

Registration fee:
6.600 €

Language of instruction:

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