Energy Design A

Brian Cody
Architecture, Energy Design
2017W, Seminar (SE), 4.0 semester hours, course number S01875



Research background:

Projected population growth during the next 50 years is set to happen predominantly in the subtropical and tropical regions. Seen purely from a building energy performance perspective, would it make more sense to develop the extremely cold regions of the planet instead of the hot regions? After all Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, FedX and Co. are right now busily developing concepts for very cold places as well as for underwater locations with the intention of drastically saving (cooling) energy …

Design Task:

Imagine you are a recently qualified architect and you start to work in a large design firm based in Rotterdam. On the first day you are told you are to work up a conceptual design for a university campus in Mumbai. The university has a very rough idea of the necessary program; 30% office space, 35% teaching space and 35% laboratories. At the end of the week your boss asks you to work on a project with a similar program in Anchorage, Alaska. After all, the program is nearly identical, so this should not be too hard, right? You protest that Mumbai is hot and humid and Anchorage is one of the coldest inhabited spaces on earth. And you did not learn that much about designing with climate and energy at university …

Do not worry, you are told, you are going on a crash course next week, and another one the week after, where in short intensive workshop type courses you are going to learn all about energy concepts and climate control systems in the first and all about designing building envelope and façade systems in different climates in the second course. Then you have three months before the designs are to be submitted and there will be plenty of design reviews, discussions and support to help you along the way …

The design task for the majority of the courses will be a university campus. You choose which type; science, technology, music, arts etc. The locations are Mumbai and Anchorage.

Mumbai is an economic hub and rapidly growing megacity in the tropical climate zone of India.

Anchorage is a small city in the cold climate of Alaska, frequently used as an airplane refueling stop with the third largest cargo airport in the world. It is equally near to (or far from) New York City, Frankfurt and Tokyo.

Space for communication is a major component in every successful university campus; space for different levels of communication, formal and informal, organized and unorganized. One of the key issues is how to design the spaces between the buildings, as these are especially important for informal unstructured communication and positive social interactions. Depending on climate and design approach, some of these spaces may be enclosed, creating a kind of “interior urbanism”.

The key is connecting the major design themes of communication and energy. The approach will of course be different in the two chosen climate regions.

And then there is the role of communication in design itself...


For the courses this year we have developed a special didactic approach, which comprises the following components:

- working simultaneously on two related but very different design problems leading to an enhanced learning effect

In the courses we are offering this year, you will learn two important skills:

- creative problem solving

- designing with climate

You will learn how to design:

- a building in a hot climate

- a building in a cold climate

As an architect, you need to be able to think concurrently and continuously in different scales. Whether you are working on a masterplan or a façade detail, you need to think simultaneously about the city, the building space, the street and about people and the way they will interact with and experience the space. At the same time you need to consider the way your design will impact on the environment and resources over time. As an architect in the 21st century you will need to work with climate, energy and natural forces in new ways.

Examination Modalities

You can work in groups up to 3 students, so that you can share workload.

There are 4 obligatory meetings with Prof. Cody and Desk Crits in between.

By the end of the semester, you present a conceptual design that focuses on the energy questions. Besides a beamer presentation, a model will be required.


This years theme is connected to several recently completed building projects, on which the design firm Energy Design Cody developed the climate control and energy concepts; Ecole Centrale Paris with OMA, Med Campus Graz with Riegler Riewe, WU Campus with Bus architects, Zaha Hadid, Peter Cook and others. It is also connected to a large university campus project currently in progress, on which Energy Design Cody is preparing the energy masterplan. We will go behind the scenes of these projects to understand the design strategies used and visit some of them to experience them live during the coming academic year.

taught in English.

Key Words

energy design, architecture, ecology, sustainabiliy


12 October 2017, 11:00–13:00 Seminar Room 24 , "Kick-Off and first meeting with Prof. Cody, lecture by Prof. Cody"

Course Enrolment

Until 04 October 2017, 16:04
via email:

co-registration: possible (3.0 ECTS)

Architecture (Master): Energy Design (3.0 ECTS)

Individual courses: possible (3.0 ECTS)