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Sustainable Architecture

Started Feb 29, 2020

$110 Enrol

Full course description

Sustainability in the building sector is necessary to guarantee a future to our planet. Buildings are the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, and also consume a third of our water, and generate 40 per cent of our waste. However, for this same reason, buildings have also a great space for improvement, towards a cleaner and healthier future. Designing more sustainable buildings is a necessary step to mitigate the climatic disaster that we are heading to. But what is exactly a sustainable building and how can we apply sustainability in the design process?

This masterclass will provide a holistic comprehension of the sustainable design process, as well as the knowledge and skillset to critically approach sustainability in the built environment. The module explores basic concepts through the analysis of energy certification schemes and informative case studies by leading architects, which include 1 Bligh Street by Architectus and Ingenhoven Architects, Hotel Circular Quay by Crone and KKAA, Woodside Buildings Monash by GRIMSHAW Architects, and CBA Darling Quarter and the EY Centre by fjmt.

The masterclass draws on content from the Sustainable Architecture Research Studio unit of study in the Master of Architecture.

Course Outline



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15 min to complete


  • What is Sustainability for you? 5 min
  • What do we mean by sustainability? 4 min



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35 min to complete

Introduction to environmental sustainability

  • Environmental sustainability 20 min
  • Design Process 7 min
  • Examples of the Design Process 5 min



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1 hour to complete

Principles of performance-based design

  • Passive House 15 min
  • Active House 12 min
  • Green Star 20 min



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1 hour to complete

Case Studies

  • Quiz (3 questions)

Learners will:

  • Understand the general concepts of sustainability and its embedded complexity
  • Have an overview of sustainable design as an intergrated process
  • Understand the conflicting requirements between environmental impacts, energy efficiency and comfort
  • Identify the different certification schemes available
  • Analyse case studies and their sustainable design principles

AACA Competency:

  • 2. Design: Pre Design
    • 2.1 Identification, analysis and integration of information relevant to siting of project.
    • 2.3 Evaluation of factors influencing and impacting on project cost.

  • 3. Design: Conceptual Design
    • 3.1 Design response integrates the objectives of brief, user intent and built purpose.
    • 3.2 Application of creative imagination, aesthetic judgement and critical evaluation in formulating design options.
    • 3.3 Design response incorporates assessment of the physical location and relevant wider regional, contextual and environmental issues.
    • 3.5 Exploration and application of ordering, sequencing and modelling of three-dimensional form and spatial content.
    • 3.7 Assessment and integration of construction systems and materials consistent with project brief.

Who is this course for?

This course is aimed at professionals employed in the architecture and construction industries seeking an introduction into sustainability in architecture. The target audience falls in to two main categories; professionals, as these people require the knowledge for their profession and development, and students who choose to take this course for interest and access to experts in the field.


There is one structured assessment task included to genuinely test participants’ understanding of content. Participants will be required to learn about three case studies which form the basis of this assessment. The assessment task in this course is delivered as self-marked online quizzes and is located at the end the last module.

Questions? Feedback?

Email if you have any questions, comments or feedback about this course or our Open Studio masterclasses.

Content Specialist

Dr Arianna Brambilla

Lecturer in Architecture

Dr Arianna Brambilla is a building engineer and an architect. She holds a PhD in Building Physics and Systems from Politecnico di Milano (IT), done in conjunction with the Aalborg University (DK). Her project was focused on building strategies to enhance resilience to climate change and user interaction with the building automation system applied to very efficient model homes. Before joining the University of Sydney, she was doing a post-doc at the École Polytechnique fédérale del Lausanne (EPFL, CH), where she was engaged in a project aimed at developing a low-carbon outstanding building. Her research interests relate to the perceived and subjective thermal comfort in relation to the objective environmental comfort, hygrothermal performance of building components and materials, low-carbon design strategies and thermal energy storage.

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  • Full Price:


  • Course Length:

    3 Hours

  • Delivery Mode:

    Online, self-paced

  • CPD:

    3 Formal Points