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Discover how to realize energy-efficient and comfortable buildings.

Professional Certificate in
Buildings as Sustainable Energy Systems

What you will learn

  • How to make estimations of buildings energy needs by applying the balance principle and using simple public meteorological data; to be able to make informed decisions on how to increase the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings.
  • About the energy supply in buildings and possible combinations to increase efficiency with e.g. heat pumps, gas burners, cogeneration, solar, fuel-cells, geothermal and aquifer thermal storage.
  • To design building energy systems be designed accounting for the mismatch between demand and supply in order to ensure low primary energy usage, low carbon emissions or even enable zero carbon buildings and building stocks.
  • How to master a good indoor thermal comfort and how that closely relates to buildings’ energy systems, in order to size the energy and comfort equipment of the building, which is a must from costs point of view.

People spend more than 80% of their time in buildings, therefore a good thermal comfort and quality of the indoor environment are essential for people’s wellbeing. At the same time, buildings and their energy systems are responsible for around 40% of the worldwide energy consumption and carbon emissions.

In this program you will learn how to design energy efficient and more sustainable buildings whilst improving the thermal quality of their indoor environment.

This Program consists of four courses.

In order to consider how to increase the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings, you will discover the energy needs and thermal behavior of buildings. You will learn to answer questions like: how does solar radiation impact the heating and cooling needs? Is there something like an optimal window size, or optimum insulation or orientation? What is the impact of ventilation on the energy needs? Why do architects sometimes design fully glazed atria oriented to the north?

A building not only has energy needs, but also energy supply. Therefore the second course takes you on a journey through the world of energy conversion and related carbon emissions. You will discover how to convert natural resources into the needed heat, cold and electricity. This course will give you the skills to choose energy systems for low carbon buildings and building stocks.

During the third course you will learn how to master a good indoor thermal comfort and how that closely relates to buildings’ energy systems. You will be able to answer questions like under which conditions is floor heating comfortable, or why does a comfortable temperature also depend on the chosen ventilation system. Or why there will always be comfort complains even in the building design.

Finally, you will discover how to combine energy supply and (ground) storage systems and how to distribute heat, cold and air in buildings. You will know why and when to apply an all-air system, radiators, floor heating or a cooled ceiling. You will understand the processes in air handling units and know how to maximize comfort while making sure the carbon emissions are the lowest possible. You will also discover the basics of how to optimally control all these systems.

Expert instruction
4 skill-building courses
Progress at your own speed
6 months
4 - 6 hours per week
Discounted price: $500.40
Pre-discounted price: $556USD
For the full program experience

Courses in this program

  1. DelftX's Buildings as Sustainable Energy Systems Professional Certificate

  2. 4–6 hours per week, for 5 weeks

    Discover how building design and occupancy determines the energy demand in buildings and learn how to (re)design low energy buildings.

  3. 4–6 hours per week, for 6 weeks

    Discover how to convert natural resources into heat, cold and electricity, what the capabilities of renewable systems are, how to match energy supply with buildings’ energy demand, and what that means for energy efficiency and carbon emissions.

  4. 4–6 hours per week, for 5 weeks

    Learn how to realize thermally comfortable and healthy buildings and how energy technologies impact comfort.

  5. 4–6 hours per week, for 7 weeks

    Learn how to decide on efficient combinations of energy conversion systems and how to distribute and control air and energy flows in buildings whilst minimizing carbon emissions and optimizing thermal comfort in close consideration with the architect.

    • Many countries aim to build and renovate buildings in a way so they become energy efficient. The low amount of energy, that such buildings require, comes from renewable resources too.
    • To meet these new targets, high investments in energy efficiency improvement in the building stock will be needed.
    • Potentially this could lead to may new direct and indirect jobs.
    • This creates not only new jobs but also adapting those currently employed to understand building’s energy system dynamics and alternatives to optimize technologies and requirements.
    • Building energy professionals, managers, planners in government, property owners, housing associations, building sector, construction industry, energy service companies, system operators, regulatory authorities and consumer organization.

Meet your instructors
from Delft University of Technology (DelftX)

Laure Itard
TU Delft
Paula van den Brom
Post Doc
TU Delft
Philomena Bluyssen
Prof. dr.
Delft University of Technology

Experts from DelftX committed to teaching online learning

Program endorsements

The built environment grows more complex every day in terms of connectivity, attention to personal comfort and working with the ever-changing energy grid. People in the production chain therefore need a better understanding of the different fields of technology and psychology involved. Linearity in building design and installation are things of the past. Now, the design, construction, commissioning and operation of a building are all interrelated. This certificate program provides a basic awareness to start with, but adds a depth of understanding at the strategic level of the various aspects of modern day building design and operation. As a result, it makes our job easier.

Ir Jan Westra , Strategic Business Developer, PRIVA

Bradford J Black

I am older architect learning how to respond to our world's energy demands as they affect the built environment. Each of the courses in the professional certificate teaches how to qualitatively and quantitatively seek out better solutions in how we can be better stewards of this world's gifts to all. If I had previously known the depth of this knowledge, our clients would have better, responsible buildings. I have taken several online MOOC concerning sustainable energy. DelftX offers many outstanding MOOCs covering this broad subject. I recommend they all for being insightful and skill-oriented.

Bradford J Black


This was one of the best experiences I had in online learning, the course content is clear with a professional hierarchy in delivering the knowledge and in teaching, the assignments were helpful to apply what we have learned and the tutors are interacting and helpful. Through this professional certificate, I have gained a lot of knowledge about Energy supply and demand in Buildings, I understood the calculations behind the energy and HVAC systems and how to uses them efficiently.

Yara Al Manaseer

Enrolling Now

Discounted price: $500.40
Pre-discounted price: $556USD
4 courses in 6 months
Pursue the Program

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