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Sustainable and High-Performance Facades

Architecture Research Collaborative


Summer Online Architecture Course Offered to Students and Professionals


Summer Online Architecture Course Offered to Students and Professionals

Event Date


Organizing Team:

Ajla Aksamija


Sustainable and High-Performance Facades

This first ever and fully online academic course was offered to both current students (as a graduate level 3 credits course) and professionals (for continuing education) to engage collaboration and dialogue between the academia and professional practice of the architectural design discipline, while exposing both to the latest available research methods and sustainable façade design technologies. The course intended to advance both students’ and practitioners’ skills in designing sustainable, high-performance building facades and to broaden their knowledge about sustainable facade materials, design methods, systems, simulation and modeling tools, and facade performance. The course, which is otherwise regularly taught to students, was structured to both offer flexibility in virtual learning amidst a global pandemic, while also modifying the curricula to include professionals to collaboratively learn about sustainable and high-performance façade design methods and approaches, how to analyze performance properties of facades through simulation software and energy modeling, materials and their environmental impact, and how to incorporate specific design strategies to develop viable solutions for innovative facades through examples of real-world case studies. In addition, students were also tasked with developing a case study project and taught technical documentation skills, while this portion was optional for professionals. 

The course was scheduled over a six-week summer period, twice a week, and taught online through real-time lectures, discussions, and assignments. The course focused on two published books by the organizer, Dr. Aksamija, Sustainable Facades: Design Methods for High-Performance Building Envelopes (Wiley, 2013), and Integrating Innovation in Architecture: Design, Methods and Technology for Progressive Practice and Research (Wiley, 2016), both of which are further elaborated on in the Publications section. 

Upon completion of this course, the novel online process and successful results were shared with the Facade Tectonics Institute in an article by Dr. Aksamija, as linked below.