Coaction & BE-ST Training Session / BE-ST

Undergrad Course Launch

New programme aims to equip all UK architecture students to tackle climate emergency.

A new free-to-access training programme, Design Performance for Climate Action, provides architecture students across the UK with a solid foundation in climate-responsive building design.

Developed collaboratively by experienced Passivhaus training provider Coaction Training CIC and the Passivhaus Trust, alongside RIBA, the Standing Conference of Schools of Architecture (SCOSA), and the International Passivhaus Association (iPHA), this partnership has been formed so that together the organisations can do more, reach more people, and have more impact.

Design is the most powerful tool we have to improve the energy performance of buildings, both upfront and in use. This new course empowers architecture students with the knowledge and skills to design high-performance buildings, using the Passivhaus standard as proven and quality-assured route to achieving good building performance.

"This course is responding to a direct demand from industry for more climate conscious architects. We are excited to be upscaling Passivhaus education in universities so that when architecture students graduate, they hit the ground running, embedding these skills in the practices where they work to have an immediate impact on the delivery of sustainable buildings in the UK.”"

Sarah Lewis, Research and Policy Director, Passivhaus Trust

Buildings are a significant culprit of carbon emissions – accountable for 35% of total global energy consumption. Passivhaus is a proven approach to reducing building energy use in addition to delivering high standards for comfort and occupant health.

The Passivhaus standard adopts a whole-building approach focused on high-quality construction with clear, measured targets and certification through an exacting quality assurance process. The programme -'Design Performance for Climate Action' - is tailored to support existing architecture teaching in the UK Architecture Schools. It addresses priority areas in the emerging RIBA Climate Knowledge Literacy schedule and the ARB Competencies that form the backbone of the curriculum.

"This is a huge opportunity for architects at the very start of their practice to gain access to Coaction's community of trainers - each bringing their long-standing experience and expertise within the Passivhaus industry."

Sally Godber, Director, WARM: Low Energy Practice & Coaction Training CIC

The course has been developed by a specialist team of low-energy experts and educators from Coaction Training CIC and the Passivhaus Trust, and critically examines the Passivhaus standard, exploring its strengths and limitations over four modules, two of which cover the principles of building design for optimal performance, while the remaining two delve into the specifics of construction and services design.

"It is essential that all architecture students have access to tools that can support in their learning to develop sustainable approaches to designing buildings. This initiative, funded by SCOSA and other partners will ensure our students can have an understanding of Passivhaus principles to inform their approach to sustainable design."

Prof Lorraine Farrelly, Chair, Standing Conference of Schools of Architecture

The course materials are available to all UK Schools of Architecture students on an open-access basis and consist of online self-study modules. The partners’ ambition for the course is to expand opportunities for undergraduates and postgraduates in future years ¬– including studio practice - empowering these students with tools and knowledge used in low-energy construction. It is also hoped that the programme may be adapted and rolled out to other disciplines once successfully up and running.

"Climate literacy among architects is fundamental to delivering a low-carbon future and we are committed to ensuring that the next generation have the knowledge and skills they need. This important initiative will provide schools with resources to ensure that each and every architecture student enters the profession with a firm grounding in the principles of climate-responsive design."

Jenny Russell, Director of Education and Learning, Royal Institute of British Architects

We are looking for supporters to help us widen this programme further and empower the next generation of climate responsible architects to deliver a low-carbon future. If you're interested in being part of the change contact us below.


The Passivhaus Trust (PHT)
Coaction Training CIC

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