Master of Design Science (Sustainable Design)

This program provides the necessary skills and knowledge to design energy-efficient and environmentally conscious buildings. It addresses the relationship between architecture and current environmental issues, and it explores environmentally sustainable architecture. The core units of study in this program are listed in Table G, 'Graduate units of study'. There is flexibility to study areas of specific interest to each student. Options are available in other related programs offered by the faculty (eg Building Services, Facilities Management, Illumination Design) and elective units may be taken from any other program in the faculty or from other relevant programs at the University of Sydney.

Unit of study table

Unit of study Credit points A: Assumed knowledge P: Prerequisites C: Corequisites N: Prohibition Session

Sustainable Design Stream

Core units

DESC9200
Introduction to Architectural Science
6      Semester 1
DESC9147
Sustainable Building Design Principles
6   

Enrolment numbers limited by teaching resources. First preference to Sustainable Design students. If your attempt to enrol online is unsuccessful, please seek permission from the Student Administration Centre (SAC).
Semester 1
DESC9201
Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
6      Semester 2
DESC9148
Sustainable Building Design Practice
6   

Enrolment numbers limited by teaching resources. First preference to Sustainable Design students. If your attempt to enrol online is unsuccessful, please seek permission from the Student Administration Centre (SAC).
Semester 2

Optional units

ARCH9031
Research Report
12   
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Submit an Independent Study Approval Form, signed by your proposed supervisor, with your request to enrol. Available to Masters students only.
Semester 1
Semester 2
DESC9015
Building Energy Analysis
6      Semester 1a
DESC9014
Building Construction Technology
6      Semester 1
DESC9047
Strategic Facility Management
6      Semester 1
DESC9049
Financial Decision Making
6      Semester 1
DESC9111
Energy Management in Buildings
6      Semester 2
DESC9048
Operational Facility Management
6      Semester 2
DESC9192
Energy Code Compliance in Buildings
6    A Undergraduate architecture or engineering degree
Semester 2
DESC9164
Lighting Technologies
6    N DESC9063
Int August
DESC9169
Daylight in Buildings
6    N DESC9106
Semester 1
DESC9150
Sustainability Research Project
6      Semester 1
Semester 2
DESC9153
Graduate Internship
6    A Sufficient coursework to undertake guided professional work

Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Masters students only. Graduate Diploma students with permission of the Program Coordinator. Advanced Standing will not be granted for this unit of study.
Semester 1
Semester 2
DESC9300
Research in Arch. & Design Science
6    N ARCF9001

Note: Department permission required for enrolment

Semester 1
Semester 2
DESC9165
Architectural Lighting Design
12    N DESC9064
Semester 1

Unit of study descriptions

Sustainable Design Stream

Core units

DESC9200 Introduction to Architectural Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Francesco Fiorito Session: Semester 1 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: Assignment (40%), Exam (60%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This unit aims to explore the scientific concepts of heat, light and sound, and from this develops foundational principles and methods applicable to buildings. It is divided into five topics: climate and resources; thermal environment; air movement; lighting; and acoustics. Students will gain an understanding of the terminology, physical values and metrics in each of these topics, and how they apply to the design and function of buildings. Theoretical models to predict key physical values in buildings are presented and used in assessments. Learning is supported by measurement exercises.
This unit has a focused pedegogy intended for all graduate students in Design Science. It is a common core unit for all of the programs (Audio and Acoustics, Building Services, Facilities Management, Illumination Design and Sustainable Design). Students within these programs should undertake this unit in their first semester of study if possible.
DESC9147 Sustainable Building Design Principles

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard Hyde Session: Semester 1 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: 1 x assignment and 1 x project (100%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Note: Enrolment numbers limited by teaching resources. First preference to Sustainable Design students. If your attempt to enrol online is unsuccessful, please seek permission from the Student Administration Centre (SAC).
The aims of this unit are to develop an understanding and knowledge of the principles underlying sustainable building design practice, in particular those principles which relate to the environmental attributes of the building fabric, the creation of healthy and comfortable interior environments, the selection of appropriate building materials and the minimisation of embodied and operational energy consumption. Unit content: environmental and health impacts of building materials; embodied energy of building materials; understanding energy flows between buildings and their environment; the principles of passive solar heating strategies in cold and temperate climates; strategies for controlling solar and other loads on the building fabric; principles of cooling by natural ventilation; low energy mechanical cooling strategies; hybrid and mixed-mode cooling strategies. By the completion of the unit students will be expected to demonstrate their knowledge of the relevant properties of building materials and construction elements which impact upon the environmental performance of buildings and to demonstrate their competence at applying this knowledge to the formulation of appropriate sustainable design strategies.
DESC9201 Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: Lab-based assignment (40%); Exam (60%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Humans' thermal, visual, auditory and olfactory senses determine the perceived quality of a built environment. This unit analyses built environments in context of these human factors. This unit relates human experience of buildings to the main dimensions of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ): thermal, acoustic, lighting and indoor pollution. This understanding of human comfort perceptions is contextualised by an understanding of the various approaches to the evaluation of built environmental performance. You will study post-occupancy evaluation tools and workplace productivity metrics. Regulations from Australia and abroad will be explored to understand their impact on acoustics, thermal comfort, lighting, indoor air quality and ventilation. The unit also pays particular attention to sustainability rating tools from around the world, including GreenStar, NABERS, LEED and BREEAM. This unit gives students extensive hands-on experience in laboratory- and field-based methods of IEQ research and building diagnostics. A recurring theme will be instrumental measurements of indoor environments, and how they can be analysed in relation to perceptual and behavioural data collected from occupants of those environments.
DESC9148 Sustainable Building Design Practice

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Michael Muir Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: Individual Sustainable Design Case Study (40%); Individual Schematic Sustainable Design (60%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Note: Enrolment numbers limited by teaching resources. First preference to Sustainable Design students. If your attempt to enrol online is unsuccessful, please seek permission from the Student Administration Centre (SAC).
The aims of this unit are to explore the implications of applying sustainable building design principles on design practice; to evaluate and critique the sustainability of current design practice through an examination of current theory and professional ethics and the exploration of case studies; to explore the development of new sustainable design paradigms. Unit content: the response of architectural practice to the rise of environmentalism in the 20th century; the emergence of passive solar architecture; ecologically sustainable design [ESD] and its impact upon current design practice; real and perceived barriers to a more sustainable design practice; impact of education and theory on practice; expressing the values of sustainability in built form; towards a new sustainable design paradigm.
By the completion of the unit students are expected to demonstrate an ability to critique current building design practice in relation to sustainable design principles; to demonstrate their knowledge of key recent buildings which their designers claim to be sustainable and their ability to evaluate these claims; to enunciate a personal position on the impact of applying sustainable design principles on future design practice. The unit will broaden students understanding of the principles of sustainable building design and their impact upon future design practice.

Optional units

ARCH9031 Research Report

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Program Director Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Independent research under academic supervision. Assessment: Research proposal (10%), 10000 to 15000 word Report (90%). Final reports due by the end of the first week of the formal examination period. Mode of delivery: Supervision
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Submit an Independent Study Approval Form, signed by your proposed supervisor, with your request to enrol. Available to Masters students only.
The report is a substantial piece of research conducted over one semester. It takes the form of report (between 10000 and 15000 words) on an approved subject of your choice. The report is an opportunity to advance your knowledge and skills in a particular area. The objective of the report is to allow you to develop research and analytic skills by undertaking an in depth study of your own selection. The expected learning outcomes of the report include the ability to think critically about a problem and develop an appropriate research methodology or analytical approach to address it; identify and access appropriate sources of information, research and literature relevant to the issues; undertake relevant primary and secondary research; and present your findings in a way that demonstrates academic and professional competence. A report generally includes a literature review to delineate a problem; a statement of research aims or objectives, as well as research questions; an explanation of research methods; presentation and analysis of data; and discussion of conclusions. Permission to continue the Report may be subject to a satisfactory research proposal being approved by your supervisor by week 3 of semester. Reports are due at the end of the first week of exams for the semester in which you are enrolled. The assessment is based solely on the submission of your report. The report is generally marked by two examiners, neither of whom is your supervisor.
DESC9015 Building Energy Analysis

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard Hyde Session: Semester 1a Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: 2 assignments (100%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
The aim of the unit is to acquaint students with the range of analytical and design tools available for low energy building design; to provide the opportunity for students to become proficient at using some of these tools. Among the techniques and tools explored are: climate data analysis; graphical and model techniques for solar studies; steady state and dynamic heat flow analysis; simplified methods for sizing passive solar elements; computer models of thermal performance; modelling ventilation; estimating energy consumption. Emphasis is given to tools which assist the design of the building fabric rather than building systems. At the end of the unit it is expected that students will: be aware of the importance of quantitative analysis in the design of low energy buildings; have an understanding of the theoretical basis of a range of analytical techniques; be familiar with the range of techniques available for building energy analysis; be able to apply many of these to design analysis; be familiar with the range of thermal analysis computer software available; and be able to use a software package to analyse the thermal performance of a typical small scale building. All of the assignments are designed to provide students with hands-on experience of each of the analysis tools.
DESC9014 Building Construction Technology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Michael Muir Session: Semester 1 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am - 5pm) Assessment: Two assignments (40%) and (60%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This unit covers three related areas of investigation: basic building construction practices, advanced building construction practices & sustainable construction. It begins by introducing a number of recurrent themes in construction in Australia at the present time including the idea of building culture, the various modes of delivery and variety of classifications of buildings and building elements, rational construction & construction detailing from first principles. There follows a review of construction techniques of domestic scaled buildings using, where appropriate, examples of well documented and/or accessible exemplars. The second part of the unit reviews current approaches to building technologies employed in more complex public and commercial scaled buildings, particularly with regard to processes of structural system selection, fa├žade systems design and construction and material performance. The fundamentals of heat transfer and effects of external conditions on indoor comfort, aspects of the BCA and integration of services into the building fabric relevant to building services engineers will also be reviewed. Again, accessible exemplars will be covered. Finally the unit will review current issues related to key attributes of buildings which make them sustainable, particularly with regard to material selection, appropriate detailing for energy and resources conservation and building reuse and recycling.
DESC9047 Strategic Facility Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 1 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: 2,000 word individual assessment (30%); 4,000 word group assignment (50%); presentation and written paper (20%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This unit is an introduction to forward planning of facilities and its impact on their management, since adjustments and alterations to facilities occur much slower than corporate decisions can be made. It is a management discipline, and as such relies on the central topics of business finance, information systems, and of course management per se. The teaching proceeds from an examination of the purpose of organisations and how the facility assists (or hinders) it achieving its goals. Explaining this understanding is the subject of the first Coursework assignment. In this first half of the unit we will examine the purpose of 'organisations' and their 'facilities'. This includes examination of facilities and how their performance is measured. We shall consider the procedures necessary to obtain this information, and how to identify those areas that have 'elasticity' and are therefore amenable to management initiatives. In the second half of the unit we will consider the potential improvement of the performance in terms of the user organisation's mission. In this regard, occupational health and safety issues are germane. The second coursework assignment will require attendees to consider the means to measure the performance of facilities in order to relate them to corporate purpose.
DESC9049 Financial Decision Making

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 1 Classes: 4 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: 3 group assignments (2 x 40%, 1 x 20%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Facilities management is a subset of business management: As such, no 'management' can be exercised without first matching the need for resources against the resources available. This necessarily involves the financial and accounting information systems of the organisation, and the 'tools' necessary to extract information in order to make informed decisions.
The unit is in two halves: The first deals with management accounting. Students will learn how to interpret the standard historical information regarding organisations via the balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and cash flow forecast. Students will gain an appreciation of the underlying assumptions behind these performance measures and will learn how to interpret this information in order to recognise under- and over-performing businesses. The second half examines cost accounting, i.e. the internal generation and flow of management information for financial control. Students will also gain an appreciation of accounting as a forward-looking managerial tool for controlling the conduct of an organisation. This will include an understanding of the budgeting process and how it can be utilised to achieve the Facility Management mission. The unit will also cover the principles and issues of building, finance and their impact on life-cycling costings.
DESC9111 Energy Management in Buildings

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Alan Obrart/Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: Two assignments (2 x 45%); presentation (10%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
The objectives of this unit are to give students an understanding of energy consumption issues in buildings through both design and operation and to give students an awareness of energy auditing and current energy conservation techniques.
This unit is primarily concerned with the management and control of electrical power delivered via the grid. We start with the commercial electricity sales environment; the rental of transmission lines, the rental of the utility company's infrastructure, the non-fossil fuel obligation, and tariff structures. We will concentrate on the processes and the considerations involved in undertaking an energy audit, which will also be the focus of Assignment 1. The options for demand management, including outsourcing will be examined. Passive energy design, which 'locks in' future energy usage will be presented. Active energy systems and their fundamentals: lighting, air conditioning, hot water, ventilation, vertical transportation, and machinery, will be reviewed. Finally methods of assessing energy performance including computer simulation will be covered.
DESC9048 Operational Facility Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assessment: 2,000 word individual assessment (30%); 4,000 word group assignment (50%); presentation and written paper (20%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Operational Facilities Management is a service industry concerned with the day-to-day operations required to run an organisation's facilities. Primarily facility operation has to satisfy the user organisation's statutory responsibilities. Beyond that, whilst some major costs (such as Rates, Land Taxes, Insurance premiums etc.) are fixed, other costs are amenable to management. Operational Management necessarily requires those charged with the task to evaluate where their effort is spent and where the significant resourcing costs lie, thus allowing them to prioritise and match their effort to the effect.
This unit will involve considerations of subcontracting and examine 'best practice' guidelines for both hard and soft service provision.
DESC9192 Energy Code Compliance in Buildings

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Francesco Fiorito Session: Semester 2 Classes: 5 day intensive (9am-5pm) Assumed knowledge: Undergraduate architecture or engineering degree Assessment: Assignment 1 (40%); assignment 2 (60%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
The aim of this 5 day intensive is to provide the students with the knowledge to prepare a BCA Section J - JV3 modeling exercise suitable for presentation to a principal certifying authority thus demonstrating building compliance.
Students will explore the BCA procedure and sections dealing with alternative solutions, deemed-to-satisfy prescription, verification methods, specifications, and also utilize the GREENSTAR and NABERS Energy computer programmes.
DESC9164 Lighting Technologies

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Wendy Davis Session: Int August Classes: 5 day intensive. Prohibitions: DESC9063 Assessment: Two assignments (2 x 50%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This unit covers the technologies employed in generating, distributing, and controlling light in illuminated environments. Students learn the advantages and disadvantages of different hardware options for various lighting applications. A brief history of lighting technologies and the physical processes involved with electrically generating light are included in this unit. Practical characteristics of currently popular lamp types, as well as emerging lighting technologies, are presented. The effects of integral luminaires and other light fittings on the resulting illumination are covered, as are the electrical requirements of different lighting technologies. The selection, operation, and implications of lighting control options are included. The underlying principles and practical implications of the different characteristics of various lighting technologies are emphasized to enable students to independently evaluate future innovations in lighting technologies.
DESC9169 Daylight in Buildings

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Francesco Fiorito Session: Semester 1 Classes: Five day intensive. Prohibitions: DESC9106 Assessment: Assignment (30%), Assignment (70%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Daylight can be used in buildings to reduce the energy spent on electric lighting and create aesthetically appealing interiors. Design decisions that affect the success of daylighting in a building span every phase of the design process, from site selection to the application of interior finishes. This unit discusses the role of daylight in indoor illuminated environments. Calculations to predict the quantity and distribution of daylight in spaces and predict the effects of shading devices are covered. Students learn about the local and global variables that influence daylight availability, recognize the challenges and opportunities with daylight in interior spaces, and the appropriate use of daylighting technologies. The integration of daylight with electric light is emphasized.
DESC9150 Sustainability Research Project

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Richard de Dear Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Individual supervision Assessment: Project (100%) Mode of delivery: Supervision
The unit will provide an opportunity for students to undertake supervised research on a topic related to Sustainable Design through intensive study of a particular aspect of sustainable building design. The study may take the form of a state-of-the-art review, case studies, modelling, field study, or a position paper on a particular issue. Students contemplating going on to do a research degree could use this unit to explore and develop a potential M.Phil or Ph.D research topic. Students are expected to demonstrate their ability to undertake, document and report upon a small piece of structured research related to Sustainable Design. The unit will broaden students' understanding of the principles of sustainable design and the techniques of research in the discipline of architectural science.
DESC9153 Graduate Internship

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Associate Dean (Education) Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: Fieldwork Assumed knowledge: Sufficient coursework to undertake guided professional work Assessment: Log book signed by practice supervisor and 2,000 word report on the benefits of the internship (100%); pass/fail only Mode of delivery: Professional Practice
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Note: Masters students only. Graduate Diploma students with permission of the Program Coordinator. Advanced Standing will not be granted for this unit of study.
The aims of the internship are to provide a direct link between the academic core of the course and the disciplines and methods of practice; to enable candidates to experience aspects of practice and provide the opportunity for them to work in areas of the field outside their specific expertise; to enable candidates to observe, analyse and comment on the interaction between theoretical and practical issues of their Program as it is practiced, and to establish connections between practice and the development of relevant research programs. The internship is intended to provide the opportunity for students to work in various situations in their Program's area. A secondary intention is that students use the opportunities of placement to broaden their own experience beyond the limitations of their chosen discipline. Candidates must find a suitable professional placement. Permission to enrol is given after the proposed placement has been approved by the Program Director. The host organisation will nominate a supervisor for the student for the internship. The student must complete at least 120 hours of full or part-time experience, supervised by a practicing designer (or other professional depending upon the field). A log-book of each day's work, signed by the supervisor must be submitted on completion. A 2,000-word report on the benefits of the internship must also be produced. At the end of the internship the student will: demonstrate that they have completed a program of work (through a log-book); present a report; analyse their experiences and compare these to the theoretical content of the units they have completed, and suggest appropriate research directions so as to improve the complementarity of theory to practice.
DESC9300 Research in Arch. & Design Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Assoc Prof William Martens Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 5 workshop sessions (1 hr/wk for first five weeks) followed by individual student supervision by an appropriate staff member (chosen according to field of research) Prohibitions: ARCF9001 Assessment: Individual project based: 1 x 1,500 word research proposal (30%); 1 x 3,500 word final written report (50%); 1 x final oral report (20%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This unit aims to prepare students for undertaking a research project in the various sub-disciplines of Architectural and Design Science. It begins with the workshop-based presentation of foundations of experimental science relevant to research projects within these sub-disciplines. It highlights principles of experimental design and methods of data collection and analysis. Examples of previous projects undertaken by graduate students in Design Science will be presented, as appropriate, in any of the following areas: Audio and Acoustics, Building Services, Facilities Management, Illumination Design and Sustainable Design). Although this unit has a focused pedagogy intended for all graduate students in Design Science, enrollment may be expected by other coursework students within the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, such as those undertaking the Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts (M.IDEA).
DESC9165 Architectural Lighting Design

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Wendy Davis Session: Semester 1 Classes: 10 day intensive (9am-5pm) Prohibitions: DESC9064 Assessment: 4 assignments (4 x 25%) Mode of delivery: Block Mode
This unit focuses on the development of lighting solutions for a variety of architectural and outdoor spaces. With an emphasis on the decision-making process, students explore strategies to create functional, aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective, and energy-conscious illuminated environments. This unit includes discussion of the standards, regulations, and building incentive programs that impact lighting design. Manual design calculation methods are included to determine relevant measures of light, energy, and money. Students learn to assess the visual tasks of a space, identify challenges and opportunities posed by the architecture, and consider client requirements when developing a lighting plan. This unit also addresses the aesthetics of lighting design and uses of light not associated with visual tasks. Layering light, creating ambiance, and enhancing other design elements of spaces are discussed. Techniques to highlight architectural features of buildings, divert attention from undesirable areas, and influence the movement of people throughout a space are also covered. The integration of technical knowledge and ability to critically evaluate unfamiliar lighting situations and technologies are emphasized.