The MSc has been designed to offer flexibility, with attended or distance learning study available and a range of possible awards from a full MSc to a single module. Modules studied:
To complete the MSc you will undertake a major design exercise working in a team and individually from a realistic architectural proposal and design brief, aiming to produce a design that satisfies specific environmental design criteria.
Energy in Buildings
This module introduces students to how energy is used in buildings, ranging from traditional, climatically adapted architecture to modern low energy buildings. It explains the basic physical processes and systems, and calculation methods for heat flows, overall heat losses, lighting and radiation, and conditioning of air.
The architecture of passive design adapted to local climate, both ancient and modern, is explained. Use of natural and mechanical systems for ventilation and cooling are described. Modern daylighting and artificial lighting equipment and systems are explained, with an emphasis on low energy design.
Legislation related to energy use in buildings is described and put into context, covering building regulations and codes both in the UK and internationally. This includes not just energy in-use, but embodied energy and other aspects of sustainability such as sourcing building materials, siting etc.
This module is concerned with the key concepts of sustainable development, sustainability and their application to the energy sector issues. It presents relevant definitions, indicators and various dimensions (social, ecological and economic) and related sustainability concepts. Sustainability challenges of the energy sector (particularly in the electricity industry and transportation) and the implications of climate change on sustainable development are also examined. Students are encouraged to develop a critical appreciation of the sustainable development debate, and to challenge widely held views.
This module covers the fundamental principles of the world energy system, and how it could evolve towards a more sustainable, low carbon energy future. It describes the main sources of energy today, and explains the meanings of primary energy, energy conversion and delivered energy, and the associated technologies and resultant carbon emissions. Established renewable technologies (wind, hydro, solar) are described in detail with some basic methods for calculation of energy output, together with issues around output profiles, storage options and impact on the electricity grid.
Resource Efficient Design
The aim of this module is to provide students with a grounded understanding of resource efficient design in both industrial and non-industrial contexts. Design will be seen to relate to both product and to process and resource efficiency will be intrpreted as the ability to design out waste and design in the efficient use of natural resources.
The module will adopt a 'whole systems' perspective to the introduction of students to the design process and will encourage them to analyse each stage of development in terms of its impact on resource use and overall energy consumption. Discussions will consider the role of the designer and the user when addressing the challenge of moving towards more sustainable consumption.
A number of different approaches to designing more energy efficient products, processes, services and systems will be explored and students will have the opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of these different approaches across various design contexts. Through practical activities, and the use of case studies, students will develop the skills and expertise necessary, at each stage of the design process, to effectively facilitate and manage resource efficient design.
Ventilation & Daylight Modelling
This module will enable students to understand the role of daylight and airflow modelling in the design process of low energy buildings. It will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the physical principles which govern natural ventilation airflows the basis of the modelling methods commonly used in design practice. Case study buildings will provide students with examples of a wide range of natural ventilation design strategies.
The module will provide a systematic understanding of the mathematical principles behind natural ventilation. These principles will be used to explain methods for sizing and positioning of ventilation openings. The influence of key design features such as space geometry and heat gains on the performance of any strategy will be studied.
Students will examine the design principles for solar control and daylighting. This module will enable students to carry out simulation-based studies to predict solar control and daylighting quantities and to test their sensitivity to building parameters.
Energy Analysis Techniques
The module is designed to enable students to analyse data from buildings and industry to identify energy and greenhouse gas saving opportunities. The underlying science and mathematics is presented. Spreadsheets are used to analyse time series data and identify potential energy saving opportunities. The main opportunities are discussed potential energy efficiency measures described.
The techniques will enable students to carryout the analysis techniques of energy audit, energy survey, energy balance and to be able to establish an ongoing energy monitoring and target setting regime for a building or industry.
Energy and Thermal Performance
This module will enable students to understand why and how building energy simulation methods can be used to analyse building thermal performance in the design process. It provides students a comprehensive understanding of the physical processes that govern building thermal and energy performance. This module also focuses on the inter-relationship of building form, fabric, solar control, airflow and comfort requirements, with energy performance. It will enable students to apply simulation methods to estimate the benefits, in terms of energy and emissions, of a sustainable approach building design.
Students will carry out quantitative analysis on climatic datasets to discern their prevailing characteristics. The fundamentals of the interaction between building fabric/morphology and key meteorological parameters will be described. This module will describe how a consideration of climatic factors at an early design stage can aid the design of low-energy buildings.
The module will focus on performance of naturally ventilated and hybrid sustainable buildings. Students will be able to make appropriate selection of energy simulation methods, evaluate results and give coherent recommendations in a multi-disciplinary context.
The module will provide the skills necessary to successfully complete a research project of a high standard.
The module will cover research methods, data interpretation, report writing as well as basic computing skills. Additional information will be provided for people needing to acquire particular skills in specific areas.
The module will also cover basic statistical analysis and the design and analysis of questionnaires.
It will introduce students to a range of research methodologies and practices relevant to the successful completion of the MSc.
The design project will provide the student experience of analysing building airflow, daylighting and thermal performance in the context of the building design process. Projects will be defined by taking a realistic building design brief and architectural scheme design and setting out environmental design criteria that are to be satisfied.
Students will form collaborative groups and work together to develop a critical analysis of the initial building design proposal. The team is expected to identify key design challenges and propose design strategies for further investigation. The team is expected to organise itself and distribute analysis and report writing tasks appropriately. A group report is required.
At the conclusion of the group work, individual work will continue by development of design proposals and detail analysis by application of appropriate modelling techniques. The objective will be to develop a building design that satisfies the performance criteria set out in the project brief. Students will, individually, prepare a final report that describes their analysis, design development and presents their final proposal in a professional manner.
The project brief will be chosen from a number of examples prepared by the institute or contributed by industrial advisors.