MABY4600 Sustainable Building Design Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Sustainable Building Design
Master's Degree Programme in Structural Engineering and Building Technology
10 stp.


Climate change and increased focus on resource use and environmental impacts entail a greater focus on the choice of materials and climate adaptation of buildings. The course aims to give students an understanding of the interaction between the choice of building materials and components in the design of energy-efficient, sustainable and climate-resilient building envelopes and design solutions.

The course combines the theoretical basis for building physics from the courses MABY4200 Building Physics and Climate Adaptation of Buildings and MABY4300 Sustainability Assessment and Life-Cycle Analysis, and builds on theoretical and especially practical knowledge of the holistic design of buildings. In the course, students will learn how to use and combine their knowledge of building physics principles, sustainability assessments and life-cycle analyses in the design of an optimum building envelope. The following topics are addressed in particular:

  • Relevant standards and regulations.
  • Principles of Zero Emission Buildings, passive- and plus house building design.
  • Integration of building physics principles in the holistic design of building envelope.
  • Thermal storage in conventional building materials and innovative buildings materials (e.g. PCMs).
  • Moisture buffering in hygroscopic materials and hygrothermal inertia.
  • Fire safety design (building level).
  • Dynamic energy and hygrothermal simulations (HAM and BES);
  • Complete environmental assessment of buildings (LCA on building level).
  • Life Cycle Cost Assessment (LCC).

Anbefalte forkunnskaper

MABY4200 Building Physics and Climate Adaptation of Buildings.

MABY4300 Sustainability Assessment and Life-cycle Analysis, or courses with an equivalent learning outcome.




After completing the course, the student is expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student:

·         has sufficiently advanced knowledge of building physics, complex climate impacts and building materials to be able to develop and propose climate-adapted, robust and innovative solutions

·         is capable of assessing climate adaptation solutions for building envelopes and components

·         has advanced insight into the physical, thermal and hygric properties of building materials

  • has advanced knowledge on embodied and operational emissions from buildings

·         has specialised knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of building materials and the optimum combination of different materials in order to maximize building's carbon footprint and service life

·         is capable of combining building physics and sustainability principles to achieve an environmentally sound building design.


The student is capable of:

·         explaining relevant standards and requirements for building materials and components, and assessing documentation from manufacturers/suppliers

·         combining analysis methods for building physics calculations and life-cycle assessments in the choice of materials, components and design

·         criticizing and justifying these choices in relation to complex phenomena that arise between a building and the outdoor/indoor climate

·         planning and creating a comprehensive sustainable building design, including a description of the materials and components used in the building envelope

·         interpreting simulation tool results to revise and optimize the proposed design

·         assessing the quality and condition of materials and components in existing buildings, and any maintenance and replacement needs.

General competence:

The student is capable of:

  • using scholarly articles to keep up with latest developments in the field
  • working in teams
  • presenting results in a scholarly, professional manner with the help of written reports and oral presentations.

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

The teaching will largely consist of lectures, software demonstration and lab exercises. Students will also be given a major project assignment in which they are to design an sustainable building with regards to building physics and CO2 emissions. Voluntary exercises related to the project assignment will be given in connection with each lecture.

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

No work requirement.

Vurdering og eksamen

 Project report prepared in groups of 2-3 students, approx. 100 pages (excl. appendices).

The exam may be appealed.

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

All aids permitted.


Grade scale A-F.


Two internal examiners,

 External examiners are used regularly.


Dimitrios Kraniotis