Sustainable environmental design encompasses many different scales, from individual buildings and their components to cities, regions and the planet as a whole. The conditions for a symbiotic relationship between buildings and the urban environments they occupy are the main concern of the SED Masters course. The dynamic energy exchanges characterising this relation foster distinct changes in the climates of cities, the environmental performance of buildings and the comfort and energy use of their inhabitants.
A knowledge and understanding of the physical principles underlying these exchanges, along with the conceptual and computational tools for their translation into an ecological architecture and urbanism, form the core of the course’s studio projects and taught programme. This year’s work will close a three-year research agenda on urban living and work environments that encompassed some 200 projects combining fieldwork and studies of built precedents with detailed environmental simulation studies and design research.
With locations spread over some 50 cities in 30 different countries the projects have involved research in all the major climatic regions and many different urban configurations and microclimates. They provide a repertoire of bioclimatic techniques and adaptive architectural design that varies with climate and context while targeting autonomy from conventional energy sources. As in previous years work produced by the programme featured in several international events and publications.