AAR4546 - Material Emissions as Design Drivers - Design


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Portfolio 100/100

Course content

This course focuses on project work in interdisciplinary groups. The students apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the theory course AAR4817 to a design project.

In an emissions driven design process students work with existing buildings, gather a set of requirements, propose a program and develop design proposals. Various alternatives and scenarios are considered, such as a combination of demolition and new building(s), reuse of materials from on-site or elsewhere, and / or adaptive reuse and supplementary buildings.

LCA calculations accompany the design process, and the results support decision making. The overall outcome are design projects of high architectural quality in their relation to the existing built environment while minimizing or, ideally, eliminating embedded emissions and achieving a positive impact to communities.

Learning outcome


  • Recognize materials not only for their aesthetic qualities and physical properties but also in relation to their potential for environmental performance and impact on the environment
  • Identify and test building design strategies and material choices optimizing concept, form and construction towards reduced material emissions.


  • Understand and use LCA of buildings to inform the design process, base architectural design on material emissions.
  • Use relevant methods and tools for the design and documentation of minimizing embedded emissions of buildings.

General competence:

  • Participate in and lead interdisciplinary design teams with focus on low embedded emissions of high-quality buildings

Learning methods and activities

Design studio guidance; computer labs; project presentations and discussions with teachers, external professionals and classmates. Site visits.

Excursions can be arranged as part of the teaching of the course. The course leader will inform the students if the excursion is obligatory or optional at the start of the semester. Obligatory excursions will be free of cost for all students. Students who participate in optional excursions must expect to pay a small share of the expenses. For students who do not participate in optional excursions, an alternative will be offered.

Studio based learning: Students are expected to be physically present and available to the group for the majority of the ‘working day hours’ when prescribed.

Design studio guidance; computer labs; project presentations and discussions with teachers, external professionals and classmates. Site visits. Conduct a project report with architectural design representations, including physical and digital models, and documentation of the LCA guidance of the design process.

Further on evaluation

The end product of the architectural design project will be delivered in the form of a report, posters and models.

The delivered report is group work and will have two parts: The design project will be presented with an integrated analysis report describing the LCA and other calculations in more detail.

The final presentation after the hand-in of the report is mandatory

The final mark for the portfolio is based on the design project (60%) which should include the whole design process, and the integrated analysis (40%). These two elements together should demonstrate how the scientific knowledge and skills acquired can be used to underpin design decision making and how emissions are minimized by material choice and other design strategies.

Students should show evidence of a systematic effort to adapt their design to minimize material-related emissions (both qualitative and quantitative).

For the oral presentation, the student group must give an oral presentation of the project work for censorship. All group members must present a part of the work. The oral presentation serves as adjusting oral assessment.

Both parts and the presentation must be passed to pass the course.

In case of fail, all parts will have to be retaken. In case of a complaint, the re-evaluation is based on the delivered report. If the grade of the report differs from the original grade, a new presentation must be held.

Regarding appeals: If the new grade has changed from the original grade, the students must complete the exam and the presentation again.

Postponed examinations are usually scheduled for the next regular exam period.

Specific conditions

Required previous knowledge

Students taking this ZEB design course AAR4546, also need to take the theory course AAR4817.

To take this course, you must be enrolled in one of the following programs:

  • Architecture (MAAR)
  • Architecture (MAAR2)
  • Sustainable Architecture (MSSUSARC)

Exchange students have to fulfil the same requirements as for the enrollment in one of the study programs MAAR, MAAR2, MSSUSARC.

Course materials

Project brief; illustrative examples;

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  15.0 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024
Extraordinary deadline for course registration: 2023-12-01

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Architecture
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Architecture and Technology


Examination arrangement: Portfolio

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Portfolio 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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