AA Environment & Energy Studies Programme MSc & MArch Sustainable Environmental Design 2011-12
The conditions for a symbiotic relationship between buildings and the urban environments they form and occupy are the main concern of the SED masters programme. The dynamic energy exchanges characterising this relationship foster distinct change in the microclimates of cities, the environmental performance of buildings, and the comfort and energy use of inhabitants. Knowledge and understanding of the physical principles underlying such exchanges, along with the conceptual and computational tools for embedding these principles in an ecological architecture and urbanism, form the core of the taught programme in sustainable environmental design. Projects aim at creating an architecture that evolves from the inside out, providing adaptive opportunities to occupants and appropriate performative responses to building elements aiming to achieve autonomy from conventional energy sources.
This year’s projects opened a new cycle in the programme’s research agenda on Refurbishing the City. Term 1 team projects investigated the environmental performance of a dozen London housing schemes of the last fifty years including recent mixed-use projects. Fieldwork included indoor and outdoor measurements of environmental variables followed by computer modelling and selective parametric studies aimed at pinpointing refurbishment options and probable future scenarios. In Term 2 findings of these studies provided starting points for new building programmes with sites in London and Barcelona and design briefs extended into outdoor spaces. Term 2 also saw completion of the MArch dissertations started at the end of the last academic year. In Term 3, forty one new dissertation projects were launched organized into clusters relating to the programme’s main research topics. Work on these will continue over the summer with completion mid-September 2012 for the MSc and end January 2013 for the MArch.
Over the last five years the SED programme’s Refurbishing the City agenda has initiated close to three hundred research projects with locations in some 40 countries and 70 cities across the world, encompassing a large variety of urban contexts in all of the main climatic regions. These are listed here and the locations of the main cities shown on the world map. Illustrations from some of the projects are screened above. Close to eighty of these projects have been for sites in London. These are shown on the London map and some of this year’s project reports and design proposals can be seen on the project table. MSc and MArch dissertation projects are illustrated with a selection of posters and models.
Jorge Rodriguez Alvarez