Building Performance (Energy Efficiency in Design)

Dublin Institute of Technology
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Over the past five years the Dublin School of Architecture has developed a range of upskilling programmes in Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) for building design professionals. NZEB is the energy performance standard required under the European Union Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (EPBD). This Directive requires that all new public buildings must meet the NZEB standard from the end of 2018 onwards, and ALL new buildings from the end of 2020 onwards.  The Directive also provides for the deep renovation of existing buildings to the NZEB standard beyond 2020. Achieving the NZEB standard will require a culture change at all levels in the building industry, from procurement, to design, construction, use and maintenance of the building over its life cycle.  

This will require industry upskilling on an unprecedented scale across the EU. From our experience in developing upskilling programmes over the past five years it is clear that the extent of the knowledge gap within the disciplines of the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector is as yet neither appreciated or acknowledged. Recognising the scale of this emerging upskilling challenge the lecturing team in the DIT School of Architecture has developed new skills and teaching methods over the past five years and has prepared a range of new programmes in science based building performance.

Programme outline

The Postgraduate Certificate in Building Performance (Energy Efficiency in Design) (PGCertBP(EED)) programme is a 1 year part time programme, delivered over two semesters, which has been designed to enable professionally qualified architects, architectural technologists, engineers and building surveyors to develop skills in energy efficiency design as the basis the design of for new and renovation building projects. The programme combines inline learning assessments with project work and explores a range of design tools required for NZEB design of residential and non-residential building types using a variety of digital modelling and environmental design software applications.

The blended online Postgraduate Certificate sits within a larger MSc and Postgraduate Diploma.

Postgraduate Certificate in Building Performance (Energy Efficiency in Design)

The Postgraduate Certificate aims at up-skilling and refocusing of building design professionals in a range of conceptual analysis tools, centred on energy and thermal performance calculation methodologies, computer modelling and analysis skills, and the application and development of these in a capstone project centred on Nearly Zero Energy Building performance targets.

Semester 1 introduces NZEB context, technologies, U value and cost optimal calculation principles and energy modelling using the SEAI Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP).

Semester 2 focusses on design tools commencing with energy modelling using the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP), hygrothermal risk assessment using the WUFI Pro application, and 2D thermal modelling using the PsiTherm application.

Each module is assessed through a combination of online computer based formative exercises and summative assessments and the application of module learning to an end of semester capstone project or projects.

On successful completion of the PGCert BP(EED) programme the student will be able to:

Analyse and calculate the thermal performance of new and existing buildings using a range of fabric heat loss calculation methods and computer applications.

Develop building design proposals which incorporate and integrate airtightness design and installation requirements within a whole building energy performance design and construction strategy.

Assess and implement ventilation design strategies which support and compliment a low energy building fabric performance receiving environment.

Execute an assessment of surface condensation risk (fRsi) in building fabric assemblies using linear thermal bridge calculation in order to develop code compliant construction details which manage mould risk.

Execute an assessment of condensation risk analysis in building fabric assemblies using hygrothermal modelling and develop code compliant construction assemblies to manage hygrothermal risk.

Appraise a low energy building design proposal to determine overheating risk potential and propose fabric and services installation mitigation measures to manage overheating risk.

Manipulate building space, layout and orientation to optimise geometry and form factor as a fundamental design driver in achieving passive low energy building performance at optimal cost.

Apply the principles of life cycle cost analysis in selecting fabric interventions, services installations and renewable technologies and apply an understanding of the financial parameters impacting on cost optimality

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Dublin , Ireland