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Study module on the circular economy in building design

Aalto University and Yale University are developing a study module to familiarise architects and engineers with resource wisdom and the carbon cycle in the built environment.


About half of all raw materials in the world are used for building. The built environment uses about 40 per cent of primary energy and causes about one third of the global greenhouse gas emissions. The construction sector can therefore play a key role in improving energy efficiency and in the transition to a circular economy.

What are we doing?

We are developing a study module for building designers. The module is suitable for use as a part of the studies in architecture, landscape architecture or structural engineering.

Because the circular economy and resource wisdom can be approached from various points of view, the one we have chosen is the carbon cycle in the built environment and building processes. Material use and energy consumption are discussed from the point of view of building design.

The study module consists of video lectures supplemented by environmental impact assessment exercises used as examples and studio courses in building design. The material is in English. The video lectures and course plans will be published and will be freely available to be used in teaching.

Who are involved?

The project is implemented jointly by the Aalto University Department of Architecture and the Yale School of Architecture.

Where have we got to so far?

The first pilot course was organised at Aalto University in winter 2018. Based on the feedback collected on the course, additions will be made to the material and it will be published openly in winter 2018/2019.



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