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Sustainable Buildings (ENEN90014)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeENEN90014
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


This subject provides a multi-disciplinary overview of the design of sustainable buildings and considers the design from an architectural, services engineering, facade engineering, environmental engineering and structural engineering, tenants and owners perspective. A number of industry based case study examples will be introduced to complement the lectures.

This subject uses a project based learning project where students work in teams to design a new or refurbished commercial building to improve the environmental and social performance of the building. Students learn to apply sustainability-rating tools used in industry to their solutions.

Students in the subject come from different disciplinary backgrounds, principally engineering and architecture, and are expected to share their knowledge and learn from each other to successfully complete the project work. This stands them in good stead for entering professional practice in the area of sustainability.


Topics include: ecological sustainable design, life cycle analysis, planning for sustainable buildings and cities, regulatory environment, barriers to green buildings, green building rating tools, material selection, embodied energy, operating energy, indoor environmental quality (noise, light and air), facade systems, ventilation systems, transportation, water treatment systems, water efficiency, building economics, and staff productivity. These will be covered in the following thematic areas:

  • Sustainable Cities
  • Sustainable Precincts
  • Building Envelope
  • Building services - Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
  • Building services - Energy
  • Building Services - water
  • Existing Buildings
  • Green Building Rating Tools
  • ESD Drivers and Barriers
  • ESD Economics
  • the process of a green building - 60L CH2
  • Business Perspective
  • Case Studies.

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Identify the critical sustainability issues that should be addressed in planning a building or new development
  2. Estimate the green star rating of a new building
  3. Identify the issues effecting indoor environmental quality
  4. Select different heating and cooling ventilation systems and justify the selection
  5. Calculate the embodied energy of different structural systems including recycled material
  6. Calculate the utilisation energy and greenhouse gas production of different building conceptual designs
  7. Carry out conceptual designs for the design of a water supply system for a building with a focus on water conservation and recycling measures and estimate the expected water consumption requirements
  8. Undertake cost studies of different green star rated buildings using life cycle cost analysis techniques.

Generic skills

  • Understanding of social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities and the need to employ principles of sustainable development
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to complex problems and to design for operational performance
  • Capacity for lifelong learning and professional development
  • Understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities, and commitment to them.

Last updated: 22 August 2019