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Start   >  Master's & postgraduate courses  >  Education  >  Master's degree in Architecture and Sustainability: nZEB Building Design, Simulation and Control
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22th Edition
60 ECTS (512 teaching hours)
Language of instruction
Payment of enrolment fee options

The enrolment fee can be paid:
- In a single payment to be paid within the deadline specified in the letter of admission to the programme.
- In two instalments:

  • 60% of the amount payable, to be paid within the deadline specified in the letter of admission to the programme.
  • Remaining 40% to be paid up to 90 days at the latest after the starting date of the programme.
- In four instalments, splitting the payment by direct debit:
  • 40% of the amount payable, to be paid within the deadline specified in the letter of admission to the programme.
  • The remaining 60% will be divided into 3 direct debit payments, which will be distributed equidistantly between the beginning and end of classes.
  • The student must have and be the holder of a bank account with IBAN ESXX
Notes 0,7% campaign

Registration open until the beginning of the course or until end of vacancies.
Start date
Classes start: 12/10/2023
Classes end: 03/07/2024
Programme ends : 25/07/2024
Tuesday: 3:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm | 3:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Taught at
EPSEB - Escola Politècnica Superior d'Edificació de Barcelona
Av. Doctor Marañón, 44-50
Why this master's degree?
This Master's course begins with the idea that future of architecture will be influenced by two different factors: Ecology and High Technology. Using this premise as a base and following sustainable development principles, the first part of this Master's course in Architecture and Sustainability provides students with classes focused on understanding, conscientiousness and knowing how to minimize the environmental impact of buildings and urban growth in general. This needs to be done without surpassing the capacity of different ecosystems and at the same time meeting the needs for comfort.

This course provides the theoretical and practical instruction in sustainable architecture that you need to oversee a construction project from start to finish: materials, passive solar energy strategies, energetically efficient installations that incorporate the active use of renewable energy sources, minimal waste production and its posterior treatment. The second part of this Master's course is focused on oversight systems, regulation and centralised management as well as the management tools that are used to optimise strategies for sustainable design: telecommunications infrastructures, domestic automation systems, automation and the amortisation of installations.

Apart from the regular classes, this course offers sessions with specialised businesses so students learn about new products and their applications. As well, students will use specialised software used for virtual physics simulations and energy efficiency assessment and will learn the rules of the new Código Técnico de Edificación (Technical Building Codes) and other current energy certifications. Students will learn about the design and calculation tools incorporated into projects and the principles of bioclimatic design by using practical application exercises.

Throughout this course there will be multiple visits to installations that are real life examples. This course will finish with a field trip to see examples of eco-neighbourhoods and sustainable buildings built in other countries within the European Union, all built using sustainable construction criteria.

More information:
  • Provide academic knowledge in sustainable architecture and urbanism.
  • Familiarise students with the latest technology and technical design and calculation tools.
  • Teach students about the innovative experiences in this field that have been developed in other countries and the rest of the world.
  • Promote the exchange of knowledge between multidisciplinary groups.
  • Boost students' knowledge in their professional areas.
Who is it for?
  • Architects and engineers with advanced or associates degrees.
  • Graduates in environmental fields.

Training Content

List of subjects
3 ECTS 30h
Environmental Architecture History
  • Sustainable development: the size of sustainability.
  • Environmental tradition throughout architectural history.
  • Sustainable urban development.
2 ECTS 15h
Bioclimatic Design
  • 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.
5 ECTS 44h
Bioclimatic Software
  • Software: useful tools for bioclimatic design and oversight:
    • Meteonorm.
    • Climate Consultant.
    • Archiwizard.
    • DesignBuilder.
4 ECTS 35h
Studies Cases
  • 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.
3 ECTS 26h
Practice Exercises: Bioclimatic Design
  • A practice exercise that includes the development of a project that applies the knowledge and tools given to students during the course.
4 ECTS 30h
Active Systems and Material Resources Management
  • Introfuctions to active resources.
    • 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.
  • Classification of installations.
    • Urban level, building level.
    • Air-conditioning installations and service installations.
    • Air-conditioning: ventilation, heating, refrigeration, humidity control.
    • Lighting.
    • 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.
    • 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).
  • Energy, consumption and supply.
    • Primary energy, final energy. Consumption values-efficiency.
    • The energy efficient label, energetic certification.
    • Metering and distribution of responsibility among consumers.
  • Waste generation and disposal.
    • 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.
4 ECTS 35h
Air Conditioning Systems: Energy Concepts and Keys for Optimization
  • Loads and heating demands in buildings.
    • 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.
  • Loads and refrigeration demands in buildings.
    • 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.
  • Air-conditioning systems.
    • 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.
4 ECTS 35h
Incorporation of Renewable Energies in Building
  • Solar thermal energy.
    • Different ways of collecting solar energy.
    • Applications.
    • 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.
  • Solar photovoltaic energy.
    • 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.
  • Geothermal energy.
    • 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 power.
    • 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 energy.
    • 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).
  • Cogeneration and trigeneration.
    • 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.
5 ECTS 40h
Energy Simulation Software
  • Help tool for simulating the energy behavior of buildings. Computer program:
    • DesignBuilder.
3 ECTS 26h
Infrastructures and Telecommunications
  • 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 26h
  • 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.
3 ECTS 26h
Domestic Automation Systems
  • 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.
4 ECTS 32h
Oversight and Regulation. Centralised Management
  • 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.
4 ECTS 32h
Studies Cases and Visits
  • Visits to different buildings that are good examples of where the concepts explained and analysed in the theoretical classes have been applied.
9 ECTS 80h
Multidisciplinary Project Workshop
  • A comprehensive project workshop that attempts to integrate and apply all the theoretical knowledge taught during the course into a real project, all with the assistance of programme professors.
The UPC School reserves the right to modify the contents of the programme, which may vary in order to better accommodate the course objectives.
Special master's degree issued by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Issued pursuant to art. 34.1 of Organic Law 4/2007 of 12 April, amending Organic Law 6/2001 of 21 December, concerning Universities. To obtain it, is necessary to have an official university qualification. Otherwise, the student will receive a course completion certificate of the programme issued by the Fundació Politècnica de Catalunya. (See details appearing on the certificate).
Range of modules
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.
Master's degree:
relation Postgraduate courses:

Learning methodology

The teaching methodology of the programme facilitates the student's learning and the achievement of the necessary competences.

Master's students will be able to participate in a final study trip in a European city. Buildings built with strategies for energy efficiency and low environmental impact will be visited.

The total cost of the trip is not included in the price of registration.

Learning tools
Participatory lectures
A presentation of the conceptual foundations of the content to be taught, promoting interaction with the students to guide them in their learning of the different contents and the development of the established competences.
Solving exercises
Solutions are worked on by practising routines, applying formulas and algorithms, and procedures are followed for transforming the available information and interpreting the results.
Case studies
Real or hypothetical situations are presented in which the students, in a completely participatory and practical way, examine the situation, consider the various hypotheses and share their own conclusions.
These visits are to specialist centres, companies in the sector or outstanding and important locations in the sector, in order to obtain knowledge in situ of development, production and demonstration environments within the programme.
Students are given technical support in the preparation of the final project, according to their specialisation and the subject matter of the project.
Students are supported when undertaking group work, including theoretical sessions which provide the tools and knowledge needed to achieve a result. Ideas and results are exchanged between all the participating groups.
Assessment criteria
At least 80% attendance of teaching hours is required.
Solving exercises, questionnaires or exams
Individual tests aimed at assessing the degree of learning and the acquisition of competences.
Work out projects
Studies on a specific topic, by individuals or groups, in which the quality and depth of the work is assessed, among other factors.
Completion and presentation of the final project
Individual or group projects in which the contents taught in the programme are applied. The project can be based on real cases and include the identification of a problem, the design of the solution, its implementation or a business plan. The project will be presented and defended in public.
Work placements & employment service
Students can access job offers in their field of specialisation on the My_Tech_Space virtual campus. Applications made from this site will be treated confidentially. Hundreds of offers of the UPC School of Professional & Executive Development employment service appear annually. The offers range from formal contracts to work placement agreements.
Virtual campus
The students on this master's degree will have access to the My_ Tech_Space virtual campus - an effective platform for work and communication between the course's students, lecturers, directors and coordinators. My_Tech_Space provides the documentation for each training session before it starts, and enables students to work as a team, consult lecturers, check notes, etc.

Teaching team

Teaching staff
  • Aranda Moreno, Fernando
    View profile in Linkedin
    Member of the Technical Committee of the Congress of Almost Null Energy Buildings. Member of the working group on the sustainable energy objective of the Urban Agenda of Catalonia. Member of the Energy Group of the Committee of Experts on Innovation and Knowledge of the Catalan Soil Institute.
  • Barbeta Sola, Gabriel

    Doctor Architect (ETSAB 1992). Professor Ecoarchitecture Architecture Department of the University of Girona since 1996. Master's Director: Applied Bioconstruction and Ecoarchitecture UdG (V ed.); Construction in Terra UdG; and Holistic Master in Social Transformation; and Postgraduate Health and Harmony of Habitat (V ed.). Researcher.
  • de Bobes Picornell, Arcadi

    Architect. Professor of the Higher Technical School of Architecture of the Vallés of the UPC. He is part of the research group GAT (Architecture and Technology Group) of the UPC.
  • Folch Hernández, Marc
    View profile in Linkedin
    Architect from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). Master's degree in Architecture from the Barcelona School of Architecture at the UPC. He completed his studies at the Lund Teknisker Högskolan at Lunds University in Sweden. Awarded the Ajac Prize to Young Architects in 2004 and 2012 by the COAC and the Spanish International Architecture by the Consejo Superior de los Colegios de Arquitectos de España (CSCAE). He is currently involved as a lecturer in numerous Masters in Architecture and Sustainability at various Universities. He is co-director of the Postgraduate in New Construction Systems (Escola Sert) and also participates as a professor in the nZEB Building Course (Escola Sert).
  • Gallego Moras, Guillermo

    Architect. Project Management of the Institut Català del Sòl. Generalitat of Catalunya.
  • Godoy Muñoz, Alfonso

    Architect by the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC). Master in Sustainability from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and doctoral student at the UPC. Specialist in energy efficiency and simulation of buildings. Trainer in energy certification, passive air conditioning strategies and simulation tools. Tutor professor in the master's degree in Sustainable Design and Bioclimatic Architecture and in the postgraduate course in Energy Simulation of Buildings jointly taught by the University of Barcelona (UB). Founding partner of arqbag cooperativa d’arquitectura.
  • Guillén Amigó, Carles

    Industrial Engineer by the Technical School Superior of Industrial Engineers of Barcelona (ETSEIB), Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). Master in Architecture and Sustainability: Design Tools and Environmental Control Techniques from the UPC School of Professional and Executive Development. He has 8 years of experience in building energy consultancy. Currently, he collaborates with the company Architecture & Sustainability Research Unit in Barcelona as an expert simulator in bioclimatic analysis software.
  • Labeur, Alejandro

    Architect and researcher from the National University of Buenos Aires. Expert in Bioclimatic Architecture. He currently works at the company GAC 3000 as director of Architecture.
  • Lacasta Palacio, Ana María
    View profile in futur.upc
    Doctor of Physical Sciences from the University of Barcelona. He is currently Professor of the Department of Technology of Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). He develops his activity at the Polytechnic College of Building of Barcelona (EPSEB). He is the person in charge of the GICITED research group and the EPSEB Laboratory of Fire.
  • Llop Torné, Josep Maria
    View profile in Linkedin
    Urbanist Architect from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). Director of Urban Planning and the Environment of Lleida (1979-1988 and 1991-2003). Director of Urban Planning of the Barcelona City Council (1987-1991). Professor at the University of Lleida (UdL) and the UPC. First Prize for Urbanism in Catalonia for the General Plan of Lleida 1995-2015. Coordinator of the Red Urb-AL project on urban income redistribution instruments. Deputy Mayor of Lleida (2003-2007). Director UNESCO Chair on intermediate cities, urbanization and development (2008 to 2023).
  • Quarta Colosso, Elisabetta
    View profile in Linkedin
    Architect from the University Institute of Architecture of Venice (IUAV). Master in Architecture and Sustainability: Design Tools and Environmental Control Techniques from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). Master in New Entertainment Design from POLIdesign, Milan. She has more than 15 years of experience collaborating with international architecture firms and developing autonomous projects as the founder and CEO of El Fil Verd, an architecture studio in Barcelona. He understands architecture as a constant search for balance between people, nature and buildings,
  • Riol Jurado, Ricard
    View profile in Linkedin

    Technical Engineer of Public Works, specialized in Transports and Urban Services, by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). Technician in the Department of Suburban Operations of Catalonia, at Renfe. Former President of the Association for the Promotion of Public Transport.

  • Rodríguez Cantalapiedra, Inmaculada
    View profile in futur.upc / View profile in Linkedin
    Doctor in Physical Sciences and technical architect from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). She is a professor at the University of the Physics Department and director of the Higher Polytechnic School of Building of the UPC.
  • Tarrida Llopis, Marçal

    Architect for the Technical School of Architecture of Barcelona (ETSAB), Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). Master in Architecture and Sustainability by the UPC School of Professional and Executive Development. He has 6 years of experience in building energy consultancy. Currently, he collaborates with the company Architecture & Sustainability Research Unit in Barcelona as an expert simulator in bioclimatic analysis software.
  • Tricas Costa, Xavier

    Telecommunications Engineer and Master in Building and Sustainable Construction. Expert in Telecommunications Infrastructures and Control and Regulation Systems.
  • Viver Montsant, Josep

    Computer technicians, solar photovoltaic and experienced environmental measures (electromagnetic fields of high and low frequency and radioactivity among others) since 1987. She teaches workshops and conferences environmental issues since 1996.
  • Vives Rego, José

    Doctor in Microbiology. Degree and Graduate in Biology. Master in Technology Management (ESADE). Professor of Microbiology (1991-2015) at the University of Barcelona. Philosophy Studies (1997-2015). Currently Honorary Professor since 2015. Between 1968 and 1997 he has been a consultant for companies in various sectors. Member of the Scientific Committees of the European Commission (1997-2006), Environmental forensic and expert in Crime against the environment (1992-2014) trials. Author of scientific articles in the field of microbiology, biotechnology, forensics, philosophical reflection, ethics and public management.

Career opportunities

  • Energy manager of buildings.
  • Specialist in energy rehabilitation of buildings.
  • Specialist in sustainable urban planning and smart cities.
  • Specialist in Building Energy Simulation Tools (BEST).
  • Project Manager of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB).

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How to start admission
To start the enrolment process for this programme you must complete and send the form that you will find at the bottom of these lines.

Next you will receive a welcome email detailing the three steps necessary to formalize the enrolment procedure:

1. Complete and confirm your personal details.

2. Validate your curriculum vitae and attach any additional required documentation, whenever this is necessary for admission.

In addition to your CV, the UPC School will also require you to submit the following documents for preregistration on this Master's degree:
    • Letter of motivations

3. Pay €110 in concept of the registration fee for the programme. This fee will be discounted from the total enrolment fee and will only be returned when a student isn't admitted on a programme.

Once the fee has been paid and we have all your documentation, we will assess your candidacy and, if you are admitted on the course, we will send you a letter of acceptance. This document will provide you with all the necessary information to formalize the enrolment process for the programme.

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