SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHK226545
Module Leader Craig Thomson
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • B (January start)
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module is cross disciplinary in its approach and seeks to understand how the practices involved in the design, construction and operation of the built environment can contribute towards the delivery of sustainable development. The module will provide students with knowledge and understanding of the principles of sustainable design and construction and introduce the main requirements, technologies, tools, methods, processes and systems required to develop a sustainable building. It will be underpinned by consideration of lifecycle thinking in the way we design, build, operate, maintain and ultimately dispose of buildings and their support systems.


The teaching syllabus will cover the following areas: -360b7 Sustainable design and construction - an introduction b7 Energy in buildings and carbon management b7 Renewable energy technologies b7 Sustainable design (principles of sustainable design, passive heating and cooling, day lighting, site layout, alternative building envelops) b7 Renovation or refurbishment of the existing building stock b7 Sustainable project management (project planning, site and waste management) b7 Facilities management, refurbishment and decommissioning b7 Sustainable procurement (procurement routes, public procurement) b7 Whole life value and costing b7 Sustainability and supply chain management b7 Sustainable materials (materials selection) b7 Sustainability assessment (frameworks, tools and practice) b7 Case studies of best practice

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1. Understand and critically evaluate the key principles and practices of sustainable design and construction 2. Consider project decisions through a lifecycle perspective, displaying an awareness of the whole life value approach and tools for analysis 3. Critically appraise the sustainability assessment tools landscape, demonstrating an ability to select the appropriate tool for a particular context 4. Appreciate the potential offered through sustainable management principles and processes, related to the effective coordination of planning, design, materials selection, site management, facilities management and reuse/ demolition of the building 5. Discuss and apply key project management methodologies related to sustainability6. Analyse and discuss best practices of sustainable design and construction

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be web-based in its delivery with all students accessing GCULearn for teaching and learning materials. This will be supported by a mix of lectures and tutorials aimed at introducing students to the high level principles of sustainability and the emerging policy agenda; whilst providing a connection with the implications for practice across the different facets of design and construction. Across the different themes, real life examples and cases will be considered to illustrate the practical realities associated with delivering the necessary change in practice. The coursework encourages students to consider the connection between the high level principles and the realities faced in their delivery in practice through a desk based case study. Students are asked to examine its feasibility, its alignment with the sustainable construction agenda and to provide recommendations for its improvement. The students will sit a final exam at the end of the module to assess their depth of understanding around the learning outcomes. Questions reflecting different aspects of the syllabus will be presented with students asked to answer three of their choice during a two hour period. GCULearn will further support students by providing a forum to discuss with each other different aspects of the course.

Indicative Reading

Example books: Appleby P. (2011) Integrated Sustainable Design of Buildings, Routledge, Earthscan, ISBN 9781849711173. Anderson J, Shiers D, Steele K (2009) The Green Guide to Specification, 4th Edition, BRE Press, London, ISBN: 978-1-84806-071-5 Brown CS (2005) The Sustainable Enterprise: Profiting from Best Practice, Kogan Page Publishers, London, ISBN 0749442204, 9780749442200 Ciamborne D.F. (2007) Environmental Life Cycle Analysis, Lewis Publishers, ISBN 1566702143. Day C. (2015) The Eco-Home Design Guide: principles and practices for new-build and retrofit, Green Books, ISBN 9780857843050 Emmanuel R, Baker K (2012) Carbon Management in the Built Environment, Routledge, ISBN 9780415648064 Flint J. Raco M (2012) The Future of Sustainable Cities: critical reflections, The Policy press, ISBN 9781847426666 Gevorkian P. (2010) Alternative energy systems in building design, A GreenSource Book, McGraw-Hill Books, ISBN 978-07-162147-2. Haliday S. (2018) Sustainable Construction, 2 nd Edition, Routledge, ISBN 9781138200258 Haliday S. (2008) Sustainable Construction, Elsevier, ISBN 0750663944, 9780750663946 Jonker J,de Witte MC, de Witte M (2006) Management models for corporate social responsibility, Springer, Guilford ISBN 3540332464, 9783540332466 Kilbert, C.J. (2016) Sustainable construction: Green Building Design and Delivery, 4th Edition, New Jersey: Wiley Kubba S (2017) Handbook of green building design and construction: LEED, BREEAM and Green Globes, London: Elsevier Liddle H. (2013) Eco-minimalism: the antidote to eco-bling, 2 nd edition, RIBA Publishing. Mendler S., Odell W., Lazarus M.A., Obata H., & Kassabaum O. (2005) The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design, 2 nd edition, University of Michigan, Wiley, ISBN 0471696137, 97804716961 Pelsmaker S. (2015) The Environmental Design Pocketbook, 2nd Editon, RIBA Publishing, ISBN 9781859465486 Quaschning V. (2005) Understanding renewable energy systems, Earthscan, UK. Robertson, M, (2017). Sustainability in project management: A literature review and impact analysis. 4 (1), Westburn Publishers Limited: Helensburgh. Silvius, A. and Schipper, R., (2014). Sustainability in project management: A literature review and impact analysis. 4 (1), Westburn Publishers Limited: Helensburgh Williams D.E., Orr D W., Watson D. (2007) Sustainble design: ecology, architechture and planning, John Wiley and Sons, ISBN 0471709530, 9780471709534 Example journals: A selection of journals ranging from Construction Management and Economics, Building Research & Information, Journal of Environmental Management, International Journal of Project Management, Sustainable Development, Engineering Sustainability, Urban Design and Planning, RIBA Journal, Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management Search engines supported by the school and library: General search engines: Science Direct, Web of Knowledge, EThOS, Blackwell Synergy, Zetoc, and EV2 Biographic databases: Construction Information Services, Iconda, OvidSp, Compendex, RICS library direct, ICE virtual library, CSA-Illumina, CRC handbooks (ENGnetBase and EnviroNETBASE), BRE, Building Standards Online, Sociological Abstracts and Planex) Knowledge Portals: BuBL link, Sapling, NBS, HIS, Pinakes, EEVL, TechXtra, Productivity Statistics Portal,, Estates Gazette international and Aecportico.

Transferrable Skills

-360b7 Collect, analyse and manage data from a wide variety of sources b7 Critical thinking, creative and innovative problem solving and logical reasoning b7 Competency in common ICT software packages b7 Manage time and other resources b7 Communicate effectively in a variety of formats b7 Work independently and in groups

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 146.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam 01 2.00 50.00 35% A two hour exam presenting five questions covered in the syllabus from which the student will select to answer three.
Course Work 01 n/a 50.00 35% A case study report of 2,000 words reviewing the feasibility for a development project aiming to align to the principles of sustainable design and construction.