The teaching unit “Architecture and sustainability: Performance studies” (UE K) is one of the mandatory courses of the orientation J “Architecture and sustainability” of the Master of Science in architecture. More specialized than the IDEAS doctoral course, it is also open to all PhD students of the Doctoral Program Architecture & Science of the city (EDAR) interested in deepening their knowledge in sustainable architecture, as well as those of the doctoral school of EPFL (EDOC) or elsewhere. It corresponds to 4 ECTS credits.

This course focuses on a detailed design and analysis exercise of the climate-responsiveness and energy-efficiency of a building’s envelope. This exercise aims at integrating several environmental criteria together with performance objectives and the theories behind a resource-efficient and sustainable structure in the design process of a building’s façade. It resorts to several assessment methods, of which the students will have to master the principles and use, with a particular emphasis on a range of simulation tools of variable complexity.

The objectives of the course include:

• Master dynamic simulation tools in order to evaluate energy gains, losses and needs
• Calculate the environmental impacts of materials
• Evaluate the results of the simulation with reference values
• Integrate the results of the evaluation into the project’s process in order to optimize the design
• Realize a technical report and drawings for a final analysis
• Develop an argument on the concept and on the influence of the modelling on the design

Course book