In the Architecture Program at UCLA over the past few decades or so we have evolving a course called Building Climatology (but it could as easily be called Sustainable Design or Climate Responsive Design).

We also have written four computer programs to aid student learning in each module of the course, and also to support architectural design decision making once they get out into practice:

All these programs can be downloaded (at no cost) from energy-design-tools.sbse.org.

The Course is designed in ten modules for a ten-week quarter for graduate students. At the end of the sequence each student will have created all the pieces they need for the design of a small single-zone building, usually some type of residential project. The form of the building will have evolved week by week from the issues covered in each module. At the end of the sequence each student will have developed their own set of design criteria against which their final building design can be evaluated. Students can work in any climate. This course has been used as a vehicle for creating student entries in the Leading Edge Design Competition, with some success over the years.

The ten modules are:

  1. Climate Analysis (Climate Consultant)
  2. Design Guidelines (Climate Consultant)
  3. Sun Motion (Climate Consultant)
  4. Design of Sun Controls (Solar-2)
  5. Natural Ventilation (Solar-2)
  6. Heat Flow through Opaque Elements (OPAQUE)
  7. Overall Performance: Heat Gain and Loss (HEED)
  8. Passive Heating and Cooling(HEED)
  9. Final Energy Conserving Design(HEED)
  10. Final Design Evaluation

The Course Outline and a set of ten Problem Sets (Download Here) are also available on the UCLA energy-design-tools web site under the heading of “A Course in Climate Responsive Design.” Each problem set is structured into a set of learning objectives and the student is shown how to address each, often with the aid of one of the computerized Energy Design Tools. Additional support material, graphics, and technical articles will be added at a later date. These write-ups are in MSWord format so you can copy and revise them if you wish. (All this material is copyrighted but you are welcome to use it and share with others provided that it is not used for direct commercial advantage.)

Technical documentation is available on the web site in the “Technical Papers Bibliography.” A couple of PowerPoint presentations are also included on that site.