Course: Low Energy Buildings (Part B)

Centre for Alternative Technology

Machynlleth, Powys, Wales
Monday 14th - Saturday 19th January 2019 01654 704966

Cost: Waged £700, Low Waged / Concessions £625

Sectors: carbon, climate & energy, sustainability

For this course you will be joining a module of CAT's new Sustainability and Adaptation MSc course. This course will help students develop a deep understanding of the principles and consequences of energy and mass flows in buildings in terms of the building’s orientation and the local climatic conditions.

Build a sound appreciation of how the energy transfers in buildings may be manually calculated, modeled and simulated in computer modeling suites and how this is vital to optimize the design for energy efficiency. 

Further hone a systematic, holistic, multidisciplinary and analytical approach to the critical appraisal of passive and energy efficiency design, heat and moisture flows in new builds and renovations, with respect to the demands of climate change adaptation and the principles of sustainability.

Main topics of study:

  • Passive solar design
  • Thermal mass in buildings
  • Energy and Mass flows in Buildings
  • Energy Saving in buildings
  • Ventilation and cooling
  • Principles of lighting
  • Solar Gains
  • Daylighting, artificial lighting
  • Movement of moisture in building fabric
  • Relative humidity, internal moisture control and moisture buffering
  • Computer simulation of thermal and hygroscopic building performance
  • Low and zero carbon buildings, including Passivhaus
  • Refurbishment

Learning Outcomes for the module

At the end of this module, students will be able to:


1. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the principles of energy transfers and ventilation, condensation, moisture movements in buildings and passive building services in the context of the design and refurbishment of buildings under an adaptation and sustainability remit

Thinking skills

2. Demonstrate skills in numerical analysis applied to energy and moisture flows in buildings

3. Critically evaluate a building’s design or proposed renovations to a building in terms of effectiveness in providing occupant comfort, energy efficiency, potential for rot and decay, wider environmental impacts and resilience to climate change

4. Apply a critical understanding of the general principles of heat transfers, ventilation, condensation and passive building services in the context of the design of buildings and sustainability

5. Evaluate, assess and critique theories and designs in the subject area.

Skills for life and work (general skills)

7.Use IT and computer skills to gather and deploy evidence and data to find, retrieve, sort and exchange new information.

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