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Universitat Politècnica de València

Sustainability in Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

Universitat Politècnica de València via edX


This course offers an interdisciplinary approach to sustainabilityin Architecture. Learners will be introducedto the basic elements of sustainability assessments (first model layer), as well as trends informing the space today.

The coursework enables students to develop a conceptual neighborhood model for assessing performance and urban policies.

In the first week,participants willlearn todevelop a conceptual model from the architectural elements of buildings; the basic building blockof which will be theperformance of materials. The second weekexploresmethods of optimizing performance. Coursework willdetail the needs and constraints inherent in selecting materials and neighborhood urban elements (the second model layer for green, blue and grey infrastructure).

In the third week, learners will developthe basic tools for introducing energy and measuring the potential impact on climate change (CO2). A new layer (third) on our neighborhood stainability model, this will be approached from a global perspective. In the fourth and finalweek, the course will explore techniques for a joint assessment directly connected to policy issues.


Week 1: Materials relevance in buildings
Week 2: Buildings, performance, functions,and materials
Week 3: Efficiency, sustainability,and architecture
Week 4: Integrated design and Business Models

Taught by

Javier Orozco-Messana, Maria Valles-Planells, Elena de la Poza-Plaza, Dai Morgan, Naoko Ellis, Edmond Byrne and Kas Hemmes



3.8 rating, based on 113 Class Central reviews

3.9 rating at edX based on 17 ratings

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  • Anonymous
    La idea del curso y el contenido planificado me resultó interesante al inicio. Sin embargo, las expectativas creadas cayeron a la realidad en el momento de hacer el curso. Los videos, además de no agregar material adicional o al menos un link de ref…
  • Profile image for Patridge Bhunu Shava
    Patridge Bhunu Shava
    The course is introductory and informative. The lectures were well organised with the theory, practicals, and case studies well articulated. The myriad of topics and lecturers from different universities make for a great course. The first topics pr…
  • Profile image for Muhammad Emara
    Muhammad Emara
    It is quite disappointing; I feel that it may have been better if they decided on focusing on a specific topic and giving some real indepth information instead of giving a mere introduction in several topics.
    It is like reading several chapter names instead of reading a whole chapter.
  • Anonymous
    An interesting introduction although it seems like much more work needs to be done to improve the coordination of the course material. 1. The downloadable PDFs are sometimes different to the PDFs used in the lecture 2. The ungraded questions at th…
  • Anonymous
    An interesting introduction although it seems like much more work needs to be done to improve the coordination of the course material. 1. The downloadable PDFs are sometimes different to the PDFs used in the lecture 2. The ungraded questions at th…
  • Anonymous
    As a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, I thoroughly enjoyed this course on sustainability in architecture. For the past two to three decades, sustainability has become synonymous with futuristic architectural designs. I have seen where this sustainabilit…
  • Anonymous
    This course aimed to present an interdisciplinary introduction to sustainability in architecture. However, the information presented was not the best and seemed to be lacking in deeper learning content. Although the basics of sustainability in architecture were covered, they were not covered in enough detail to give a truly comprehensive understanding of the topic.

    In addition, the feeling that was left was that more content was needed in general. The information presented felt superficial and not deep, which made it difficult to grasp the concepts at a more advanced level. The course may have focused too much on the introduction and not included enough information to go deeper into the topic.
  • Anonymous
    I'm currently an architecture student and I found this very helpful not only to apply it in architecture itself, but the whole understanding about sustainability itself. This knowledge allows everyone in this course to have a wider view and possible innovative ideas regardless of their expertise.
  • Anonymous
    Nice course and they added more knowledge to me by teaching me what I really need to upgrade my career to design a eco-friendly sustainable building design as an Architect that will make users comfortable.
  • Anonymous
    Interesting course! Especially the content of the 2 last modules (week 3 and 4) was highly informative. Very much appreciated this course and it's easyness to follow it at your own pace. Recommend!
  • Anonymous
    As a newbie in this area with no prior foundations, I learnt a number of new technical concepts (although not always explained in the videos) and widened my understanding of and perspectives in sustainability within the architecture field. Warning, however: the exams have absolutely no value added, most courses are not well structured, the English tough to understand at times (foreign accent) and the subtitles of the units often inaccurate. I would have preferred to take the course without the certificate but I did learn which was the initial objective!
  • Anonymous
    The biggest takeaway of this course for me is about stretching ourselves to reach further and re-consider what is possible when it comes to designing more caring and thoughtful spaces for present and future generations of this planet's inhabitants, by having more open minds that accommodate interconnections, complexities and collaborations. The topics are very interesting, though some topics would have been even better if they were fleshed out with more detail, explanations, examples, etc. Overall though, it's a very worthwhile course to take :)
  • Anonymous
    Since the topic was so inspirinig I'd expected for the course presentation to be as well. The tone of voice of most of the speakers was simply not keeping my attention. Comparing to the Course I recently took from DelftX (Sustainable topic as well) this one seemed as there was not sufficeint effort made in preparation. Some of the quizes do not correspond to the lectures and I did not felt they were actually testing what you just saw. At the end of the Course I felt it was sufficient just to read prepared slides without waching videos.
  • Profile image for Jawa Hamad
    Jawa Hamad
    Your review helps other learners like you discover great courses. Only review the course if you have taken or started taking this course
    Your review helps other learners like you discover great courses. Only review the course if you have taken or started taking this course
    Your review helps other learners like you discover great courses. Only review the course if you have taken or started taking this course
  • Profile image for Dima Nakashidze
    Dima Nakashidze
    The course was quite basic in some moments and too complicated in another ones. The teachers from Spain had a really bad English so I couldn't understand anything without reading the text. the pictures had low quality so I was searching for the good ones. But the other teachers from another universities were great. So basically it's a good course, but it's still a whole room (or building I would say) for improvement.
  • Anonymous
    The course was such an ideal preparation for those you are planning to shift and study sustainability. This course had prepared me on the possibilities and further enhance my understanding on the concept of sustainability, green infrastructure and other relative studies that would help me further understand the basics of it which will help me to further hone my interest unto the said subject.
  • Anonymous
    This course has indeed justified the title of Introduction to Sustainability in Architecture. As the course's content concerns, it the useful to beginners in the field of Solar passive architecture. More quantitative dealing can be helpful to the readers to visualize the concepts well.
  • Anonymous
    This is by far good introduction on the Sustainability In Architecture as this has been the talk of everyone in our profession. This gives more meaning to what we initially know.
    Looking forward to more and comprehensive study about this in the future. Thank you!
  • Anonymous
    The course added a lot of things to my reflections and ways to do as a student of architecture. The video classroom took me more interactive on the course and i liked this. Perhaps the only thing that I would say to manage in the course are the exams or assessments, because there are some questions that dont have an exact resemblance with the subjects. Further more, thank you for the support and the incredible course.
  • Anonymous
    Maybe the worse course I had on edx. It was too general that the thoughts were flying from one side to other side. Concentration needed. Some topics were just for saying, and some (energy systems) were too detailed. It was really not well organized.

    P.S professors' English required more attention to understand what they say.

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