Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Advanced Architectural Science 1

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Environmental Design

DESCRIPTION This study-unit leads students through advanced studies in building physics, and architectural or environmental science, by means of lectures, seminars, and practical sessions. The study-unit focuses on the science relating to the performance of buildings and indoor and outdoor climates. It responds to the increasing need for designers to predict environmental performance and avoid costly failure.

It therefore tackles performance analysis and energy prediction models. The study-unit focuses on the interface between building services (mechanical and electrical systems), building physics, and building construction engineering.

Study-unit Aims:

The objectives of this study-unit are to build on prior knowledge of climate, and the physiology of human comfort, as well as of materials and construction technology. The study-unit aims to promote creative design by addressing the environmental performance of buildings, supported by engineering systems, including renewable energy sources, to the study of the effect of building form and envelope. The study-unit aims to develop a number of themes related to building physics engineering, related to the flow of energy, both natural and artificial, within and through buildings, to promote the design and construction of high performance comfortable buildings, which use natural resources efficiently, and with minimum environmental impact. The study-unit introduces students to modern analytical and predictive tools of the environmental performance of buildings. This will include elements of thermo-dynamics and heat and mass transfer, computational dynamic modeling of air movement, modeling of thermal performance, and energy performance prediction.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between climate, human physiology, and building form and envelope, in creating comfortable and energy-efficient internal environments;
- Understand the interaction between urban form, sun and wind, and environmental performance;
- Identify the characteristics of the built form and the building envelope, including fenestration, which contribute to an optimal and efficient flow of energy through and within a building, so as to exploit natural climatic resources;
- Appreciate the significance of design strategies under-pinning carbon neutral design of new and retro-fitted buildings.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Use appropriate technology to monitor internal climatic conditions;
- Use CFD software to model wind flow and ventilation around and through buildings;
- Use computer modeling to simulate the thermal and energy performance of complex energy/environmental interactions, as a tool in an integral design process;
- Propose appropriate material selection, and building construction strategies, to optimize thermal performance and energy consumption of buildings;
- Carry out energy performance assessment of buildings;
- Apply sustainability criteria such as LEEDS and BREAM to the process of design of buildings;
- Apply energy-efficiency principles to the retro-fitting of existing buildings.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Randall Thomas, R. - Environmental Design of Buildings - An introduction for Architects & Engineers.
- Hegger, Fuchs, Stark, & Zimmer, (2008) Energy Manual: Sustainable Architecture, Detail.
- Langston, D. - Sustainable Practices in the Built Environment.
- Szokolay, S.V. - Introduction to Architectural Science: The Basis of Sustainable Design.
- Lang, J. - Creating Architectural Theory: The Role of the Behavioral Sciences in Environmental Design.
- Richarz, C., Schulz,C., Zeitler, F., (2007) Energy-Efficiency Upgrades.
- Dahl, T., (2010), Climate and Architecture, Routledge.
- Gonzalo, R., Valentin,R., (2014) Passive House Design: A Compendium for Architects, Detail Green Books, Birkhauser.

Supplementary Texts:

- Cowan Henry J. - An Historical Outline of Architectural Science (1977).
- Banham, R., (1969) Architecture of the Well-Tempered Environment, Architectural Press.
- Gallo, C., Bioclimatic Architecture, Italian Institute of Architecture.
- Schittich, C., (ed) (2006) Building Skins (New Enlarged Edition) Edition Detail, Birkhauser.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Seminar & Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 50%
Examination (2 Hours and 30 Minutes) SEM1 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Vincent M. Buhagiar
Noella Cassar

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.