Graphic with green Houses © BB  


What is sustainability? What does sustainability have to do with architecture? How can I, as an architect, influence the sustainable performance of a building? What are the individual aspects of sustainability and how do they relate to each other? What are the requirements for sustainability in building design around the world?

The course is aimed at students in the master's program. Students will get to know and apply the methods, the tools and the set of standards of sustainable building design in an international comparison, in the situation of a real project.

The course is divided into four modules that build on each other:

Module 1 - Sustainability - the basics

In the first module, the basic concepts and fundamentals of sustainability in general and sustainable building design are explained. Many important aspects of sustainability such as climate change, energy demand, certifications are covered with associated methodologies such as life cycle assessment (LCA), energy accounting, resource efficiency and circularity, etc.. The differences and interrelationships between these will be explained in detail. Also in this module, the most common building sustainability certifications (e.g. DGNB, LEED, BNB), their scopes and differences are explained

Module 2 - Sustainability as a system

A very common problem in near-sustainable building design arises when considering, focusing and solving a few isolated parameters of individual aspects of sustainability without considering the context and impact on other sustainability aspects. The resulting "isolated solutions" effectively solve the problem of focus, but in the process cause a host of other critical problems. An example of this are products and construction methods that have a very high efficiency and performance in terms of energy balance and building energy performance, but at the same time cause critical environmental impacts, are not recyclable and lead to an enormous waste of resources and pose a risk to humans and the environment due to the content of substances and materials of concern. In this module, the focus is on the principles of systematic consideration, on the interrelationships between the measurable parameters of the individual sustainability aspects and the avoidance of isolated solutions and greenwashing. Other aspects of sustainability, both "classic" and "future-oriented", are presented and observed in their context and interaction.

Module 3 - Digital tools for sustainability simulation in building design

In the second module, a variety of digital tools are presented and applied to a real project. The tools support architects in simulating single or multiple aspects of sustainability in the design phase, in BIM-based or classically handled projects. Students are free to choose here whether to apply simulation and optimization in a BIM-based or in a classical design process, and are free to choose the tool to be applied from a list of reliable, tested and verified tools (e.g. eLCA, Tally,Green Building Studio, Sefaira, CAALA and others).

Module 4 - International comparison of sustainability in construction.

What are the differences in laws, codes and standards when I am an architect working internationally and want to design a sustainable building? What building certifications are used where? What sustainability issues take precedence where in the world?  In this module students learn the differences in international comparison and compared to Germany, as well as by which methods and tools they can be supported where in the world.

The teaching language is German. Students will work in groups that will be set up in each module. The maximum number of participants is 24.