Sustainable Building Design
About this courseSkip About this course
Meeting growing global energy demand, while mitigating climate change and environmental impacts, requires a large-scale transition to clean, sustainable energy systems. Students and professionals around the world must prepare for careers in this future energy landscape, gaining relevant skills and knowledge to expedite the transformation in industry, government and nongovernmental organizations, academia, and nonprofits.
The building sector represents a large percentage of overall energy consumption, and contributes 40% of the carbon emissions driving climate change. Yet buildings also offer opportunities for substantial, economical energy efficiency gains. From retrofit projects to new construction, buildings require a context-specific design process that integrates efficiency strategies and technologies.
In this course, you'll be introduced to a range of technologies and analysis techniques for designing comfortable, resource-efficient buildings.
The primary focus of this course is the study of the thermal and luminous behavior of buildings. You'll examine the basic scientific principles underlying these phenomena, and use computer-aided design software and climate data to explore the role light and energy can play in shaping architecture.
These efficiency design elements are critical to the larger challenge of producing energy for a growing population while reducing carbon emissions.
Sustainable Building Design on edX offers the opportunity for learners who are American Institute of Architecture (AIA) members to earn 22 learning units (LUs/Elective) if they purchase and earn the edX verified certificate for this course.
The MIT Energy Initiative is a registered provider of AIA-approved continuing education under Provider Number 10009794. All registered AIA CES Providers must comply with the AIA Standards for Continuing Education Programs. Any questions or concerns about this provider or this learning program may be sent to AIA CES (firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) AIA 3837, Option 3).
This learning program is registered with AIA CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product.
AIA continuing education credit has been reviewed and approved by AIA CES. Learners must complete the entire learning program to receive continuing education credit. AIA continuing education Learning Units earned upon completion of this course will be reported to AIA CES for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available upon request.
At a glance
- Institution: MITx
- Subject: Architecture
- Level: Intermediate
- Strong English language skills
- Ability to perform basic mathematical operations
- Undergraduate study of architecture, physics, environmental science, sustainability, and/or engineering helpful
- Some experience with computer-aided design helpful
- Language: English
- Video Transcript: English
- Associated programs:
- XSeries in Future Energy Systems
- Associated skills: Purchasing, Computer-Aided Design, Renewable Energy, Sales, Energy Consumption, Design Elements And Principles, American Institute Of Architects, Green Building, Construction, Building Design
What you'll learnSkip What you'll learn
- Understand the scientific principles underlying the thermal and luminous behavior of buildings
- Learn to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a range of technologies for creating comfortable indoor environments
Week 1 - Energy Use in Buildings
- Course Introduction
- Assignment: Energy Benchmarking
Week 2 - Understanding Climate
- Solar Radiation
- Wind, Temperature, and Relative Humidity
- Assignment: Direct Shading
Week 3 - Designing with Climate
- Thermal Comfort
- Assignment: Thermal Comfort
Week 4 - Daylighting
- Active Solar
- Light and Human Vision
- Assignment: PV Study
Week 5 - Daylight Simulations
- Daylight Simulations and Availability Metrics
- Material Surfaces
- Assignment: Daylight Availability
Week 6 - Electric Lighting
- Visual Comfort
- Electric Lighting and Occupant Behavior
- Assignment: Glare and Electric Lighting
Week 7 - Heat Flow
- Thermal Mass and Heat Flow
- Insulation Materials and Window Technologies
- Assignment: Thermal Mass
Week 8 - Thermal Loads
- Shading and Integrated Façade Design
- Assignment: Natural Ventilation
Week 9 - Thermal Simulations
- Internal Gains and Load Calculations
- Assignment: Internal Gains
Week 10 - Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation (HVAC)
- HVAC for Small Buildings
- HVAC for Large Buildings
Weeks 11 - 12 Designing a Sustainable Building
- Assignment: Final project: Designing a Sustainable Building
Week 13 - Grading Final Project
- Peer review final design projects