Master Environmental Management - Máster en Gestión Medioambiental
The global environmental and energy challenge facing current and future generations of architects and building professionals calls for a deeper understanding of the principles of environmental design, and their effective application into architectural practice worldwide. Over the last decades Environmental Design as a subject area has developed, responding to new research and experimentation, both in academia and in practice. However, buildings claiming to be environmentally conscious do not perform to the expected standards, still heavily contributing to global CO2 emissions and often providing unsatisfactory comfort conditions to occupants. The same can be said for the existing built environment which is largely outdated and underperforming, requiring urgent implementation of effective retrofit strategies. This is due to a lack of comprehensive performance prediction and feedback protocols, which are still not common practice in architectural design.
Students on this course will take a fresh critical look at this subject. Here you will gain the knowledge and tools to make informed design decisions based on post-occupancy feedback and performance analysis, towards a new paradigm of environmental architecture, which is environmentally and energy conscious, yet sensitive to the contextual and socio-cultural landscape we live in. You will learn environmental design methods which relate to the various stages of architectural design. You will be able to evaluate existing buildings and design new ones following a combined bioclimatic and building occupant focused approach. In the core design modules you will follow an evidence based design approach where the acquisition of specialised software and analytical tools will be directly applied to an evaluation or design project.
The modules will cover the following subject areas:
bTheory and History of Environmental Design
You will look at ethical and environmental drivers of environmental design; climate change, energy conservation and economy; standards and regulations; history of environmental design; and the various definitions of sustainable, environmental, bioclimatic, green design.
Principles of Environmental Design
You will look at the principles of passive solar design and strategies for bioclimatic architecture (eg enhanced thermal performance of building envelope, solar control, natural ventilation, day-lighting, passive solar heating and cooling etc)
bBuilding Physics, Energy and Environmental Foundations
You will look at the fundamentals of heat exchange and energy balance of buildings; and Thermal and Visual comfort.
Quantitative and Qualitative Evaluation of the Performance of the Built Environment for both Indoor and Outdoor Spaces
This will include climate and microclimate analysis and fieldwork methods for the measurement of environmental and energy parameters, thermal comfort surveys and post occupancy evaluations.
Building Energy and Environmental Modelling
You will undertake software workshops and design application of dynamic thermal modelling, Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modelling and day-lighting. The software used will be tailored to the various stages of the design process and will range from climate data analysis to day-lighting and thermal modelling.
Final Thesis Project
You will explore advanced topics and contexts of research applicability. The topic chosen can depend on your individual interests and aspirations, ranging from analytical projects to design proposals.
This course will give you skills which can be used both in architectural practice and in environmental design consultancy. The research issues explored in your final thesis project could also lead to further research and an academic career through the path of a PhD degree in a number of related fields.