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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

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3.8 rating, based on 94 reviews

Start your review of Sustainability in Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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 referencia...
  • Profile image for Muhammad Emara
    Muhammad Emara

    Muhammad Emara is taking this course right now.

    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

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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 sustainability...
  • Anonymous
    Some valuable and specific lessons to be applied in architecture. However, the low level of spoken English by the proffesors (mostly at the beginning) makes it very difficult to understand key elements and concepts. Also, lot of the questions in the exams can not be correctly answered taken in consideration the given information, and there is not a "further reading" section or bibliography whatsoever. They surely have great knowledge in the field, but cannot translate it to another language. Would not recommend to pay for this course.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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.
  • Anonymous
    The whole course is really useful and does a great job at showcasing sustainability beyond architecture. It is an Introductory course, therefore, you get a general idea of all the topics presented so you can research further and learn on your own.
    Personally, I had issues with some questions that weren't clear in the exams and it seems counterintuitive that the right answers are not given after you finish the test when you should also be learning from your mistakes.
  • Profile image for Dima Nakashidze
    Dima Nakashidze

    Dima Nakashidze completed this course.

    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

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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
    Needs to have more detailed studies and strategies to sustainability in architecture related to climate ,material study use of those materials and how ,more examples or case studies suggesting . this course was too introductory
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course. Many interesting concepts offered in a clear way. This experience has not only improved my knowledge of sustainability in the urban environment, but of overall sustainability on Earth as well. Thanks!
  • Profile image for Sofía De Tezanos Pinto
    Sofía De Tezanos Pinto
    The course was excellent! In the middle of a pandemic, not being able to travel to study in other countries is a very good idea for all university students.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course is just a brief introduction to sustainability as a whole. It doesn't give any in-depth information on how to conduct analysis. If you have already had a course on energy efficiency in University, you definitely must have finished all the topics available in the course.
  • Anonymous
    this course has been really educative and it has so much impacted my knowledge in sustainability. thank U
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    First of all thank you for the effort you've put into making this course. There were definitely very useful elements in this course and if you are looking for an introduction into this world this is right place to start. It also serves as a good refresh!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course is excellent! it has given me a different way of thinking about architecture. it has given me a clear understanding of how Designers should strive to bring relevancy in their designs with regards to the well being of our planet and our lives.
  • Profile image for Yalda Shoohanizad
    Yalda Shoohanizad

    Yalda Shoohanizad completed this course.

    As an architect, I really learned a lot from this course and it opened new windows to sustainability world for me. It's been my first course at edx and there are too many more to go through. I do appreciate all the work done to make this possible.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    It has been a good and rewarding experience. The examples really stood out to explain the concepts underneath. I hope people who enrolled got the better half of this course and hope that more and more people choose to study courses like this.
  • Profile image for Fábio Muniz
    Fábio Muniz

    Fábio Muniz completed this course.

    Week 1 and 2 were great. Well detailed and had some interesting informations. I wish I could say the same about Week 3 and 4. I felt like they went a little bit off the main subject (Sustainability in Architecture). Anyway. Thank You!

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