Sustainable Architecture

Victoria University of Wellington

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Sustainable Architecture

  • Host University

    Victoria University of Wellington

  • Location

    Wellington, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    SARC 131; Students must provide a portfolio of work for pre-approval before International Orientation and Enrolment week at Victoria University of Wellington. Students can only submit portfolios in a CD, PDF, website or propger booklet format. Printouts are strongly discouraged. The portfolio must be an acurate representation of the student's skill set to date.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    The philosophical, conceptual and contextual basis of sustainable and regenerative design. Content includes material on the ecological and environmental challenges to society in the present and future; resource stewardship and the effective utilisation of materials; working with nature and natural systems; well-being enhancement; green, sustainable and regenerative design.

    This course focuses on the creation of more sustainable and potentially regenerative domestic architecture, building upon and adding to the student?s background knowledge. The aim of this course is to explore issues related to the built environment and sustainability and allow students to become familiar with a variety of practical techniques to address such issues in the design and making of buildings, environments, landscapes and objects. By the end of the course students should be able to incorporate these ideas into further study and eventually into their practice of architecture (including landscape and interior), design, building science or related disciplines. Students are encouraged to take a critical thinking approach to environmental issues that are relevant to a built environment and design context, and to recognise the inherent links with social issues. This is important because of the large impact our professions have on these issues and the potential role we have in contributing to positive change.

    The course is broken up into four discrete modules:
    - Introduction to regenerative design
    - Bioclimatic design
    - Materials
    - Social sustainability

    And three projects:
    - Bio-Inspiration 40%
    - Sustainable Systems in Action 45%
    - Reflective Engagement 15%

    Each module is supported by lectures, tutorials and assigned readings (these are found on Blackboard and are compulsory). These will develop key learning outcomes in relation to course aims and objectives. Several professionals whose work expresses aspects of sustainability will speak to the class to provide practical and local examples of sustainability in the built environment. Details of the modules and accompanying lecture and tutorial program are found in the course timetable at the end of this outline.

    Course Learning Objectives
    Students who pass this course should be able to:
    1. Demonstrate understanding of basic theories, design principles and current practices related to sustainable & regenerative design.
    2. Demonstrate understanding of the responsibilities of design professionals with respect to environmental conservation, restoration and regeneration, and be aware of the implications design decisions can have on wider ecosystems.
    3. Demonstrate understanding of the application of basic sustainable & regenerative design principles in the design of the built environment or objects. These include techniques related to energy use, resource cycles, understanding climate, ecology and natural systems and being aware of health and psychological factors in design.
    4. Generate creative design interventions which improve ecological impacts of existing built
    environments/objects through critical reflection and communicate these effectively and to academic standards using appropriate representational media.

    Bio-Inspiration 40%
    Sustainable Systems in Action 45%
    Reflective Reading 15%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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