ENRG09019 2013 Energy and the Built Environment

General Details

Full Title
Energy and the Built Environment
Transcript Title
Energy and Built Environment
N/A %
Subject Area
ENRG - Energy
MENG - Mech. and Electronic Eng.
09 - NFQ Level 9
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2013 - Full Academic Year 2013-14
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Peter Scanlon
Programme Membership
SG_EENRG_O09 201300 Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Energy Management SG_DINTE_M09 201300 Master of Arts in Interior Architecture SG_EENER_O09 201400 Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Energy Management

On completion of this module the learner will have an advanced understanding of Sustainability and its complexities and impact on the Built Environment including energy directives and future development, they will also have a critical understanding of the relationship between climate change and buildings and the impact this has on energy efficiency and construction. The students will also have an advanced knowledge of energy policy and building energy performance, passive design and service integration. Finally the student will also have an advanced understanding of how the application of renewable technologies to existing buildings affects their performance. As core to this module the student will engage directly with industry through projects or workshops to advance critical discourse in the field of Energy and Built Environment.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Have a critical awareness of the impact climate change has on the Built Environment and how this is shaping policy and construction to improve efficiency of both existing and future developments


Have an advanced understanding of the energy performance of buildings the impact of policy and the evalution of national and international energy rating systems and their application, as applied to industry based projects or direct industry engagement.


Prepare a comprehensive assessment of a proposed new or existing building, within its locality in either an urban or rural context which also engages directly with individuals in the field or industry.


Have an advanced understanding of the role of energy in the built environment and have the ability to assess the most suitable design strategies to enhance and surpass current policy requirements whilst choosing building technologies to achieve this for a given site or scheme

Module Assessment Strategies

Indicative Practicals/Projects

Major individual project; Learners will be required to carry out an appraisal of a selected existing building and prepare a comprehensive environmental assessment report including its macro/micro urban and rural context, the evaluation must include environmental design strategies and technologies used in the selected case study from industry and the region, up to and including direct engagment with individuals and industry.

Indicative Syllabus

This module is divided into a number of Themes:

01 Sustainability (Deriving appropriate criteria for defining sustainability) in the 21st Century

Defining Sustainability: This Lecture will discuss Sustainability in the context of how it is a much over used and misrepresented term, We are shaping Earth so profoundly that it is evident in geological record (Brand, S. 2010:275) we have as a result become stewards of Earth and its resources, a point also not lost on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Furthermore this lecture will explore sustainability as well as its various indicators. The Lecture will go on to conclude with a Definition derived from current research and debate, showing how it can be blended from a range of sources.   

What is Sustainable city and how do we define it?: This Lecture covers the issues around sustainability within our towns and cities asking the pertinent question what makes a city a city in today’s world? its further explores Carolyn Steel's debate framed around the notion of resource depletion; she argues Today, almost every aspect of industrial farming involves the use of oil in some way from running machinery to making fertilisers and pesticides to transport, processing and preservation of produce. Around four barrels of the stuff go into feeding each of us in Britain every year………..We are effectively eating oil. The Lecture concludes discussing urban and rural development and pollution, as well as green /sustainable /cities

02 Climate Change on the Built Environment:

Climate and it effects on Building Design: This Lecture covers Climatic Factors that impact on construction, it further discusses how Buildings are necessary for human comfort they provide shelter from the effects of climate which are know to be extremely variable. It also discusses the Landscape and how one might analyse a Site in a given context. Finally it introduced the student to passive dasign and daylight in buildings.

Effects of water on Building Fabric: This lecture will discuss Moisture in Buildings, Condensation, Rain penetration, Breathability and the impacts weather and interior conditions has on Energy Efficiency, it concludes with an introduction to Insulation in buildings, and Internal Insulation and Retrofit.

Passive House Design: The Aim of these two lecture is to introduce Passive House concept, it will go onto to discuss its history and development then examine the methods, design guidance and specific components necessary to meet this standard. There will be some case studies presented and construction details analysed, In conclusion it will discuss Passive House concept in terms of costs, energy savings and potential problems.

03 Energy Performance of Buildings:

Buildings and Energy: This lecture will focus on the Built environment and how is accounts for almost 50% of our energy consumption and carbon emissions. The energy balance within a building, and how regulations and energy rating procedures, are aimed at measuring of the energy performance of a building, if further discusses how policy frameworks in the EU and Ireland and how they are setting targets to minimise the energy input for heating and cooling on the total energy balance. Finally this Lecture introduces the student to BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) The Code for Sustainable Homes, LEED and Green Star.

Evolution of Part L: This lecture looks at the origins of Part L Building regulation and its impact on the built environement linked to national and international policy.  

Ventilation in Buildings: This lecture we will explore how activating a buildings natural ventilation cycle will deal with the buildup of moisture, if will also discuss why ventilation is needed, nethods of natural ventilation, Airtightness and infiltration and how if ventilation is utilised correctly it can reduce the energy load on a building.

Building Energy Rating & Proformance Methods: These two lectures will discuss the many methods available internationally for assessing the energy, environmental and sustainability performance of buildings, it argues the need to assess the performance of building because of the effect this may have on it occupants and the wider environment, locally and globally. And Finally in the second lecture it will go onto discuss Post Occupancy Evaluation the potential it has for hightlighting the effectivness of built environement to respond to users needs from an health and well-being to the impact of energy efficeny.

04 Water management and Building Services: This Lecture will focus on sources of water its treatment and use within a building. It will further discuss water effciciency, Supplementing existing water supplies and finally focus on water in the context of greenhouse gas emissions and sustainable development. The Lecture will also explore mechanical services commonly utilised in buildings, identify the types and their application and fianlly it will conclude by showing how we can avoid mechanical ventilation. In the second part of the lecture it will explore Lighting installations it will discuss light, Illuminance level and distribution its laod on energy consumption and impact light has on health of the building occupant, finally it will discuss passive solar strategies and daylight.  

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Written Report 2500 Word Report Continuous Assessment Assignment 100 % Week 12 1,2,3,4

Part Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Distance Learning Suite Lecture/class discussion 2 Weekly 2.00
Tutorial Distance Learning Suite Practicals/Projects 0.75 Weekly 0.75
Total Part Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.75 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Recommended Reading:

Heschong, L. (1979), Thermal Delight in Architecture. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press

Borer, P., and Harris, C. (2005) The Whole House Book. Machynlleth: CAT Publications.

Szokolay, S (1979). Solar Energy and Building (Second Edition). Oxford: Architectural Press. Lots of backgrond information together with very detailed case studies.

Hastings, S. R. (1999). Solar Air Systems: Built Examples. London: James and James.

Lebens, R. (1980) Passive Solar Heating Design Applied Science. London: Applied Sciences Publishers.

Akbari, H., Menon, S. & Rosenfeld, A. (2009). Global cooling: increasing world-wide urban albedos to offset CO2. Climatic Change, 94(3), 275-286.

Boyle, G (2000). Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future. Open University and OUP.

Evans, M (1980). Housing, Climate and Comfort, Architectural Press.

Givoni, B( 1971). Man Climate and Architecture, Elsevier.

McMullan, R (2002) Environmental Science in Building, Palgrave Macmillan

Boardman, B, Darby, S, Killip, G, Hinnells, M, Jardine, N, Sinden, G (2005) 40% House, February, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

DCLG (2007) Code for Sustainable Homes: Technical Guide, October, Communities and Local Government Publications

DCLG (2007) Cost Analysis of The Code for Sustainable Homes: Final Report, November, Department for Communities and Local Government

EST (2005) Building energy efficient buildings using modern methods of construction, CE139, Energy Savings Trust

EST(2007) Energy Performance Certificates: a summary, briefing note, July, Energy Savings Trust

IPCC (2007) , Fourth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report, Summary for Policymakers, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Saxena, S, Hinnells, M (2006) Can Energy Services Companies deliver low carbon new build homes? Lower Carbon Futures, Oxford University Centre for the Environment

Shorrock, L, Utley, J (2003) Domestic Energy Fact file 2003, BRE, London UK

Sweett, C (2007) A cost review of the Code for Sustainable Homes: Report for English partnerships and the Housing Corporation, February, Originated by Adam Mactavish, Director of Consulting

Davis, M. (1984) How to Make Low-cost Building Blocks: Stabilized soil block technology, London, ITDG Publishing

Van Der Heijden, J. & De Jong, J. (2009) Towards a Better Understanding of Building Regulation. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 36, 1038 - 1052.

URL Resources

De Twaalf Ambachten (2000) Passive Solar Heat, Green Techniques, available online at http://www.de12ambachten.nl/English/index english.html

National Green Specification n.d., Passive solar design: Siting and Orientation. Available at: http://www.greenspec.co.uk/solar-siting-orientation.php

The Arizona Solar Center. Passive Solar Architecture: Heating. Available online at: http://www.azsolarcenter.org/tech-science/solar-for-consumers/passive-solar-energy/passive-solar-design-manual-consumer/passive-solar-design-manual-heating.html

Fosdick, J. (2010) Passive Solar Heating, Whole Building Design Guide, Available at: http://www.wbdg.org/resources/psheating.php

Heidorn, K (2000). ‘Global Wind Belts’ in The Weather Doctor's Weather Almanac, Available online from http://www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/whys/globalwinds.htm

Rosenfeld, A H, Romm, J J, Akbari, H, and Lloyd, Alan C (1997) Painting the Town White – and Green, Technolgy Review, MIT, http://eetd.lbl.gov/HeatIsland/PUBS/PAINTING

The Carbon Trust: http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/default.ct

PIU Energy Review: http://eeru.open.ac.uk/natta/renewonline/rol33/7.html

The latest EPC requirements for dwellings are available from the NHER site http://www.nher.co.uk/pages/insight/eu_directive.php

The latest EPC/ DEC requirements for commercial and public buildings are available here:- http://www.cea-epc.co.uk/faqtimetable.html

Department of Physics at the University of Siegen. ‘Heat Balance of Buildings’, Building Physics & Solar Energy. Available online: http://nesa1.uni-siegen.de/wwwextern/idea/keytopic/3.htm

Slavid, R. (2009), BREEAM, LEED and Green Star: Who’s the fairest? Building Sustainable Design, available online: http://www.bsdlive.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=3146922#ixzz0QS6eka1H

DIAG (2009), European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the energy performance of buildings (recast), Strasbourg, 23/04/09, available online: http://www.diag.org.uk/media/248428/ep 1st rdg vote on epbd recast.pdf

ECEEE (2010) EPBD Recast (Directive 2010/31/EU), available online: http://www.eceee.org/buildings/EPBD_Recast

Erhorn-Kluttig, H, Erhorn, H, Spiekman, M and Westerlaken, N (2009). A set of reference buildings for energy performance calculation studies, ASIEPI, P158, Euorpean Communities. Available online: http://www.buildup.eu/publications/5837

History of Building Regulations : http://www.buildinghistory.org/regulations.shtml

The Great Fire of London : http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/civil_war_revolution/great_fire_01.shtml

The World Fact Book : https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

Other Resources


Additional Information