0.1.2 Course syllabus for Designing climate neutral buildings and transport
The course syllabus presents all the important elements of a course before its start. It’s a fundamental document providing a course overview. Read it carefully and use it as a guide for this course.
1. Course overview
This course is designed for the next generation of policy makers, sustainability consultants or professionals and students from other fields who want to introduce themselves to climate change mitigation strategies in the building and transport sectors and apply them to their projects.
This course covers a wide variety of topics in the building and transportation domains, with the focus on the importance of designing climate friendly systems. Specifically:
- Buildings– you will learn about trends in energy use and CO2 emissions that result from heating and cooling buildings, cooking and the use of electricity for appliances and lighting. You will be able to compare various alternatives to limit GHG emissions from buildings and quantify their impact.
- Transportation – you will gain knowledge of decarbonization efforts carried out in various sub-sectors of transportation (including freight, aviation and passenger transport). You will learn about trends, fuel alternatives such as electrification and hydrogen applications, examine energy intensity and calculate GHG produced by transport. Additionally, you will have the chance to evaluate different transportation modes and their impact on climate.
In addition to the lectures, the course also includes interviews with experts and various exercises that will demonstrate how to practice what you have learnt and explore GHG emissions through real life examples. Enriched by relevant readings, this course will let you dive deeper into specific areas of interest you might have and further facilitate your learning experience. Course material will be complemented by relevant content about policy, through which you will also discover current measures taken by governments world-wide.
2. Learning objectives
So, what will you actually learn in this course? At the end of this course, you will be able to:
- Understand the big picture of how buildings contribute to global GHG emissions and differences between climate zones
- Analyse the contribution of heating, cooling and use of electrical appliances to greenhouse gas emissions and examine options to mitigate CO2 emissions from these activities
- Perform basic calculations on GHG emissions relating to different activities in buildings
- Consider how policies affect GHG emission in buildings
- Discuss the transport sector and its contribution to GHG emissions
- Calculate GHG emissions relating to different modes of transport and fuels
- Discover the efficiency and potential of alternate fuels and a variety of measures needed to decarbonize transport
3. What can you expect from us / the course team
This is a self-paced course. This means that you can follow this course in your own time at your convenience. Even so, we strongly recommend following the course on a weekly schedule.
4. Course structure
The course content is organized into four modules. A brief summary of each unit is presented below. Detailed instructions and resources will be provided during the course.
1. Heating and cooling in buildings
In the first module of the course we will be covering a lot of foundational information relating to decarbonization of the building sector. We will look into general trends in energy use and CO2 emissions of buildings, we explore the contribution of different building functions to emissions and learn about sustainable building concepts.
The content of this module is split into five sections:
- Developments in energy consumption for heat
- Energy balance of buildings
- Options to reduce energy consumption for heat
- Low-carbon options to reducing heating and cooling in buildings
- Low carbon integrated options
2. Electricity use in buildings
In this module we will be taking a deeper dive into the electricity consumption in buildings connected to the use of household appliances, office equipment, connected devices (like smart phones) and lighting. What trends can be observed? And which options are available to reduce this electricity consumption? Next we will investigate the potential to reduce energy consumption by means of digitisation, in other words using data to make buildings “smarter”. Finally, we explore the policy options, available to governments, which aim to lower CO2 emissions from buildings.
The content of this module is split into five sections:
- Global trends in electricity consumption
- Large household appliances
- Smart buildings
- Energy policies
3. Decarbonization of the transport sectors: Part 1
In this module we will start exploring the transportation sector. You will learn about global trends and different sectors including freight and aviation as well as efforts to decarbonize them.
The content of this module is split into seven sections:
- Towards decarbonization of the building and transport sector: Part 1
- Towards decarbonization of the building and transport sector: Part 2
- Global CO2 emissions from transport: Part 1
- Global CO2 emissions from transport: Part 2
- E-fuels or synthetic fuels: Part 1
- E-fuels or synthetic fuels: Part 2
- Aviation, climate and carbon
4. Decarbonization of the transport sectors: Part 2
In this module we will continue exploring the transport sectors, namely decarbonization efforts and learning about quantification of mode shift benefits. Moreover, we will be discussing economics of fuel price and mitigation costs in transport.
The content of this module is split into six sections:
- Towards decarbonization of the building and transport sectors
- Decarbonizing urban transport
- Quantification of mode shift benefits
- Prices of carbon and mitigation costs in transport
- Economics of fuel price
5. Resources, Tools & Browsers
All educational resources will be available in the course. They consist of short videos and readings.
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