Our Advanced Sustainable Design - MSc programme has the design of sustainable settlements and buildings at its core. We therefore do not focus solely on technical solutions and quantitative prediction, but on how social, cultural and physical contexts can shape your design strategy.

If purely technical answers to buildings design is your goal, then we are probably not the best fit for your ambitions. However, we do believe that quantitative aspects of sustainable design are important. Environmental design and impacts need to have values assigned to them. We will help you acquire the skills to research calculation methodologies and, critically, how to communicate in a straightforward way.

As designers, we often have to explain complex phenomena and building behaviour to help clients make correct and informed decisions. Only by understanding how buildings behave, and how we can measure this, can you undertake this with confidence.

In the second semester, you'll have the option of taking our Advanced Sustainable Design Elaboration course. This will give you a grounding in environmental simulation software.

We use IES VE and cover how to construct a building model, import it into the software and simulate environmental behaviour. You can predict heating and cooling loads, energy consumption and thermal comfort using precise building fabric constructions and usable patterns.

The software is powerful but complex. At the end of the course, you will be able to run simple simulation but, critically, have the confidence to work effectively and have informed dialogues with building services engineers. Using the software allows you to see the quantitative effects of qualitative design decisions that ultimately will produce more sophisticated and robust proposals.


Are you interested in studying Advanced Sustainable Design - MSc at Edinburgh College of Art?