Sustainable Architecture Course - ZIGURAT Institute of Tecnology
Postgraduate Courses

Postgraduate Programme in Sustainable Architecture and Construction

4 months
Starts in
April 2024
Live Online
ZIGURAT Institute of Technology

Build a Better Future with Our Sustainable Architecture Course

As an architect, you have the power to shape the way we live. But with the construction sector responsible for nearly 40% of annual global CO2 emissions, it's more important than ever to prioritise sustainability in your designs and processes.

This is where a sustainable architecture course comes in. In this programme, you will learn how to design Low/ZIB (Zero-Impact Buildings) through energy simulations and innovative solutions that promote the circular economy. By constructing efficient buildings, you will be directly contributing to reducing the carbon footprint of the construction sector. Furthermore, you will learn how to apply building principles, strategies, and techniques for circular economy-based design. And, not only will you be doing your part for the planet, but you will also be adding an asset to the building with energy certifications.

So why not maximise energy efficiency in buildings without increasing costs? Enrol in our sustainable architecture course today and make a positive impact on the environment and the way we live.

Academic content


Module 1

Eco-friendly buildings

General framework of building requirements.

Actions for new constructions.

Efficient rehabilitation.

LEED and BREEAM environmental protocols.

Design scales.

Design with social, economic and environmental impact.

Module 2

Life Cycle Assessment – Reducing Embodied Carbon (REC)

Circularity Criteria (Levels).

Circularity Indicators.

REC life cycle analysis.

Improving strategies from the architecture point of view.

Effect on all stages of the life cycle.

Influence of REC on Circular Economy, Cost, Comfort and Performance.


Module 3

Life Cycle Assessment – Reducing Carbon Emissions (RCE)

Circularity Criteria (Levels).

Circularity Indicators.

RCE’s life cycle analysis.

Improvement strategies from the architectural point of view.

Effect on all stages of the life cycle.

Influence of RCE on Circular Economy, Cost, Comfort and Performance.


Module 4

Energy efficiency - Active vs. Passive Strategies

Passive strategies from architecture.

Active strategies.

Effect on users’ comfort

Module 5

Analysis with energy models

Model analysis

Triad thermal comfort-lighting comfort-consumption

Parametric analysis of scenario analysis

Search for the optimal solution according at hand

Module 6

Efficient retrofit

Methodological differences between ex-novo project and rehabilitation of existing

heritage through practical examples

Solutions for new construction and rehabilitations

Module 7

Approach to Holistic Design

How to apply circularity in building construction.

Implications of circularity in the construction industry

How to evaluate how circular a project is

Module 8

Sustainable and Circular Construction: new buildings

Differentiate between rehabilitation and new construction

Meet the costs and scheduling estimates with added value

Integrate energy, water, waste, and biohability

Environmental quality according to UNE 171330

The impact of the building on user’s comfort

Module 9

Energy Certifications: Passivhaus, BREEAM, LEED, VERDE, WELL.

Energy certification processes: PassivHaus, BREEAM, LEED, DGNB, Verde, Well,

among others.

New certifications related to circularity levels.

Utility and benefits.


Course Final Project

The objective of the TFC is the analysis and redesign of an existing building using what has been learned in the modules to achieve a better building.

Faculty board

Xavier Aguiló i Aran

International Managing Director SOCOTEC

Antoni Herena

Head of Sustainable Buildings & Mechanical Engineer at Aiguasol Consulting

Martí Riera

Sustainability director at SOCOTEC

This programme helps professionals understand both the concepts and figures involved in sustainable construction. The idea is for them to put numbers to the red and blue arrows that most of the architects and professionals of the sector use to describe sustainable processes and applications
Unlike many traditional academic institutions, in this course there is no gap between theory and practice. It is designed by active professionals who are engaged in the market, who provide real-world case studies and unveil the specific problems and challenges faced in the industry today
I'm impressed about the amount of things I've learned in this course: lifecycle assessments, analysis of specific materials, and devising efficient sustainable practices.

The ZIGURAT methodology

Digital, transformative education, based on real people and real projects.

Active & Social Learning

Training based on participation and collaboration

Studying at ZIGURAT means expanding your professional network and having the unique opportunity to participate in selective working groups, decided on through the expertise of our professors: leaders in technological innovation and construction.

Lifelong Support

A holistic view of the professional profile

From the initial orientation to post-Master's advice, we guide you to have a critical and 360º vision of your future as an expert in the sector.

Online Experience

Interactive and flexible digital experiences

Through live sessions with industry leaders and high-quality materials on global case studies, our learning approach adapts well to the hybrid pace of today's professionals.


Admission process

Application for admission
Send us your application, your CV and a short presentation.
Personal interview
Our admissions team will arrange an interview with you.
Submission of documentation
Send us the necessary documentation to assess your application.
Admissions Committee
Our committee will evaluate your application.
Admission decision
If you meet the requirements, you will get your place.
Follow the enrolment steps indicated by the advisor.

Admission Request

If you wish to start the admission process, click here Admission Process.

ZIGURAT also offers financial aid plans, which 2,000 students have benefited from since we were founded. If you would like to find out more about these plans, you can do so by clicking on the link Institutional Grants.

Applications are open until the end of the available places and financial endowment of each program.

What is sustainable architecture?

Sustainable architecture is the practice of designing and constructing buildings in a way that minimizes the negative environmental impact of the built environment. It includes the use of green building materials and technologies, such as solar power, green roofs, and rainwater harvesting.

Will I have opportunities for hands-on experience in this sustainable architecture course?

Yes. In this course you will choose a real-world building and evaluate it in detail throughout each of the 9 modules of the programme. You will have different evaluating criteria depending on the topic covered, so this approach will allow you to analyse the building and to think in ways to improve it in terms of sustainability, coming up with ideas adapted to that building in that particular context.

Do I need previous knowledge in Design Builder to enrol?

No, you don't need this knowledge to enrol in this sutainable architecture course.

Does this sustainable architecture course provide an overview of energy certifications?

Yes. This sustainable architecture course covers PassivHaus, BREEAM, LEED, DGNB, VERDE, WELL, among others.