Green Building*

Master of Science | PG Diploma | PG Certificate

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MSc in Green Building*

Develop a deep understanding and confidence around sustainable design principles and sustainable materials, their regulatory and legal requirements and their practical use.

You will also acquire a rigorous understanding of the social, practical, political, economic and environmental aspects of green building.

CAT’s unique study experience combines hands-on practical learning with in-depth academic study and flexible study options.

Get practical experience of sustainable building materials and methods and learn the theory behind the selection and use of materials, energy flows, site selection and preparation phases, waste management and project management.

Key areas of study

  • Introduction to sustainability and adaptation
  • Building design, planning and retrofitting
  • Selection and evaluation of materials and sources
  • Efficient use of materials and energy
  • Attitudinal and behavioural issues of energy and materials use and control
  • Post-occupancy evaluation of buildings performance, water and waste management
  • Policy and planning issues
  • Applied building project

The MSc will end with a 60-credit individual design project comprising a technical report and critical evaluation. This provides the opportunity to complete your studies through focusing on a topic or project of your choosing.

Benefit from over 40 years’ sustainability experience

CAT’s world-leading eco-centre is a pioneer in researching and teaching practical solutions for sustainability, with over 40 years’ experience in low-impact building, energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable food production, natural resources management and more.

We have various buildings created using low-impact materials, including straw bale, timber frame, rammed earth, cob and hempcrete, and our site is powered via a mix of energy from our own renewable energy systems and electricity from a green provider. The award-winning WISE building is a stylish, modern example of low-impact building in practice.

Read more about the CAT site and facilities

Immersive learning

The taught eight-week modules offer an immersive learning experience through lectures, talks, seminars and workshops delivered by our expert in-house staff, with specialist insights from visiting lecturers from industry and academia.

Practical sessions are part of the programme of module teaching weeks at CAT, allowing you to get hands-on with sustainable building materials and energy efficiency.

Many modules are shared with our other postgraduate courses, providing you with a rich learning experience with your peers.

Flexible study options allow you to choose the level and mode of study that suits you, helping you fit your studies around other commitments. Full-time study at MSc level will allow you to complete the course in 18 months. This course can also be studied part-time and by distance.

Interested in studying this course? Join us for our next open day or contact us.

*This course is created and delivered by CAT and is offered subject to validation by the University of East London.

Entry Requirements

At CAT we celebrate and welcome diversity. Applicants require the necessary skill to begin study at postgraduate level plus a demonstrable interest in the subject. All applicants must have an adequate level of English language proficiency in order to be accepted onto one of our courses.

For more detail and to apply for this course, visit the application page.

Fees and Funding

Please visit our Fees and Funding page to see the tuition fees, additional fees and also funding opportunities.

Core Modules

Sustainability and Adaptation: Concepts and Planning

This two-part 30-credit core module takes place in September and November and must be taken at the beginning of your course, no matter which route you take through your studies.

In part one, we will contextualise sustainability and transformational adaptation in view of current environmental changes, exploring the interconnectedness of the factors involved.

There will be an in-depth look at the wider implications of transformational adaptation on social structures, land use, trade, resource management, energy provision, governance, health and economic systems through a critical exploration of the primary considerations related to sustainability and environmental change.

In part two, you will experience transformational adaptation planning through a facilitated self-reflective practical team exercise, and form a deep appreciation and holistic understanding of adaptation transformation planning.

You will develop the skills and knowledge needed to assess risks and make informed decisions, despite the uncertainties that come with a changing climate.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by the University of East London: EV7102 - Sustainability and Adaptation Concepts and Planning UEL

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University: 7501CATSCI -Sustainability and Adaptation Concepts and Planning LJMU

Sustainable Materials in the Built Environment

This module involves a systematic evaluation of the environmental impacts and the wider social and health implications of building materials, looking at the use, performance and usability of different materials.

You will gain a thorough appreciation of how environmentally sustainable materials offer creative opportunities for the use and development of high quality, healthy, effective, and long lasting products that can enhance rather than damage ecosystems.

You will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of different materials, and look at how to use sustainable options in the most effective ways.

We explore issues around the availability, cost, physical properties, construction methods and general perceptions of environmentally responsive materials, looking at ease of use, mainstream acceptance, design limitations, logistical considerations, and economic viability.
Students joining us on-site for the study week get hands-on experience with sustainable building materials in this highly practical module, working with rammed earth, cob, hemp and lime, timber and straw bales.

This is a 15 credit module.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by the University of East London: EV7110 - Sustainable Materials in the Built Environment UEL (234 downloads)

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University 7507CATSCI - Sustainable Materials in the Built Environment LJMU (37 downloads)

What’s it like to study at CAT? Read more about the teaching and learning experience.

 

Circular Building

The aim of this module is to synthesise an understanding of sustainable design principles within the building project life cycle and of sustainable building practice, their historical development, current discourse and trends.

You will build a sound appreciation of regulatory and legal requirements, voluntary codes and standards for the built environment, construction professional disciplines, responsibilities and ethics, and their implications for sustainable building.

You will also develop a systematic, holistic, multidisciplinary and analytical approach to the critical appraisal of building and site selection and analysis, infrastructure and preparation phases, planning and development control, construction, commissioning, hand-over and post-occupancy evaluation with respect to the demands of climate change adaptation and the principles of sustainable design and construction.

A mixture of lectures, seminars, practical workshop, presentations, and tutorials will enable you to explore:

  • Sustainable design principles and practices within the building project life cycle.
  • Environmental, social and economic impacts of buildings and the construction process, their monitoring and evaluation.
  • Eco-design philosophies and logics (for example low-impact development, biomimicry, design-for-deconstruction etc.)
  • Building project management tools and methods (for example the RIBA Plan of Works etc.).
  • Technical aspects of planning from drawings (at the scale of an individual building or small group of buildings).
  • Regulatory and legal arrangements and requirements for sustainable building construction (for example Building Regulations, CDM, relevant environmental protection legislation, procurement routes etc.)
  • Sustainable building voluntary codes and standards (which could include BREEAM, LEED, AECB, Passivhaus, Living Building Challenge, Soft Landings etc.).
  • The design and construction management team (including, for example, professional disciplines, roles and responsibilities, contractual arrangements, codes of conduct and ethics).

This is a 15 credit module.

Read more about this module when the course has been validated.

 

Advanced Sustainable Building Techniques Project

The aim of this module is to apply various insights, knowledge and theoretical perspectives encountered earlier in the programme to a particular Advanced Sustainable Building Techniques Project (ASBTP).

You will:

  • Deepen your theoretical knowledge and understanding within the field of sustainable design and construction and its interrelationship with other associated areas of the field through its application within a teamwork based ASBTP.
  • Develop and undertake substantial investigations within the field of sustainable design and construction to address significant areas of associated theory and/or practice, and critically assess the effectiveness of the methodologies utilised; investigations may take the form of inter alia: a case study scenario exercise; design, fabrication, experimentation and testing exercise; or other devised for the purposes of the module.
  • Undertake analysis of complex evidence generated through the ASBTP, and develop critical responses to existing theoretical discourses, methodologies or practices within the field.
  • Communicate and work effectively within a team, as leader or member, undertaking the ASBTP; to prototype, implement and/or evaluate innovative or sectoral best practice.

If you choose to study this module residentially, you will learn through a mixture of theory and practice via lectures, seminars, practical workshops (design, construction, experimentation and testing), presentations, tutorials, and throughout this process an active exchange of views and opinions is encouraged.

If you choose to study this module via distance, you would take this within a work-based setting within the academic year of delivery that is relevant to the learning outcomes and will generate defined evidence and outputs. The project could, for example, be in a student’s own workplace, on secondment, during a short-term work placement or volunteer position.

You will be assessed via a 3,000 words maximum report.

This is a 15 credit module.

Read more about this module upon validation.

Design Dissertation

The design dissertation involves planning and undertaking an extended independent piece of original design and/or construction research and write upon this topic within the field of sustainable design and construction.

This will help you to develop skills in: choosing appropriate design and research methods; data collection and analysis; interpreting results in relation to existing knowledge; self-reflection on research processes; subject-based practical skills; evaluating methodologies; analysis; conclusions; and relevance.

Teaching and learning is by tutorial-supported work on the preparation of this major item of academic discourse. After an initial seminar group meeting involving other students, tuition is mainly on an individual basis.

This is a 60 credit module.

Read more about the dissertation module on validation of the course.

Optional Modules

Energy Flows in Buildings – Part A

In this module you will learn about the complex nature of the interrelationships between occupant comfort, energy flows in buildings and energy efficient building design. Explore the theory and apply this in practice with expert-led practical workshops.

You will develop a systematic, holistic, multidisciplinary and analytical approach to the critical appraisal of energy efficient design, heat flows, and provision of thermal comfort with respect to the demands of climate change adaptation and the principles of sustainability.

This is a 15 credit module.

Find out more about this module: EV7106 - Energy Flows in Buildings Part A UEL

What’s it like to study at CAT? Read more about the teaching and learning experience.

Energy Flows in Buildings – Part B

The aim of this module is to develop a deep understanding of the principles and consequences of energy flows in buildings in terms of the materials used, the building’s orientation and the local climatic conditions.

You will gain a sound appreciation of how energy transfers in buildings can be manually calculated, modelled and simulated in computer modelling suites, and how this is vital to help optimise the design for energy efficiency.

You will be able to further hone a systematic, holistic, multidisciplinary and analytical approach to the critical appraisal of passive and energy efficiency design (including Passivhaus designs), heat and moisture flows in new builds and renovations.

This is a 15 credit module.

Find out more about this module: EV7107 - Energy Flows in Buildings Part B UEL

What’s it like to study at CAT? Read more about the teaching and learning experience.

Environmental Politics and Economics

The aim of this module is to develop an informed understanding of the complexity of political and economic opinions, perspectives, constraints and interactions that influence environmental policy and action, from international to local levels.

You will investigate how these factors affect attitudes towards, and actions related to, environmental change, sustainability and transformational adaptation planning and policy.

A mixture of lectures, seminar sessions and debates will provide a thorough understanding of historical political and economic transformations in order that you can critically and systematically appraise the influences on and potential outcomes of the transformations required to deliver sustainability and adaptation.

You will develop a discerning and detailed knowledge of the complexities, interrelationships and interactions that exist between politics, economics and other social sciences so that you can contextualise them with reference to environmental sustainability and adaptation planning.

This is a 15 credit module.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by the University of East London: EV7104 - Environmental Politics and Economics UEL

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University 7502CATSCI - Environmental Politics and Economics LJMU

What’s it like to study at CAT? Read more about the teaching and learning experience.

Cities and Communities

This module helps develop your knowledge of current research and discourse concerning adaptation planning and sustainability of cities and communities, and their place in current and future environmental contexts.

You will develop a thorough understanding of key elements, infrastructures, maintenance issues, energy budgets, material flows, waste disposal, transportation, and the social dynamics that underlie the development and management of communities and cities.

Following a critical assessment of the complex factors that influence the provision of sustainability and adaptation planning within urban and community focused environments, you will be able to recognise and rationalise the prospects for innovative research and practice for city and community regeneration in the built environment.

This is a 15 credit module.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by the University of East London: EV7105 - Cities and Communities UEL

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University: 7504CATSCI - Cities and Communities LJMU

Energy Provision

This module takes an in-depth look at the technological and behaviour change aspects of transforming our energy systems to help address climate change and other urgent environmental challenges.

We explore the technological aspects, functioning and practical considerations of different technologies for reducing energy demand and providing more energy via sustainable sources; and investigate resource potential (and limitations), maintenance needs, associated carbon emissions and the environmental impacts of the available renewable energy technologies.

You will develop a critical understanding of the primary need for energy use reduction and how energy distribution constraints, storage, supply and demand management, efficiency improvements, market drivers, planning processes, social and cultural aspects, governmental policy and financial support mechanisms can all affect the uptake of low impact energy systems.

You will comparatively appraise the above in a holistic, objective and self-reflective manner.

This is a 15 credit module.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by the University of East London: EV7108 - Energy Provision UEL

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University 7505CATSCI - Energy Provision LJMU

What’s it like to study at CAT? Read more about the teaching and learning experience.

Open Days

Graduate School open days offer an authentic flavour of what it’s like to learn on our postgraduate sustainability courses. Informative and inspiring, there’s time to chat with current students and our lecturers to find out if studying with CAT is right for you.

Apply now

Applications are now open. This course is created and delivered by CAT and is offered subject to validation by the University of East London.