Courses and conferences in Brighton and Wales redefine how the topic is taught

Architecture students can sign up to a sustainable design and construction diploma next year. The Part Two course, run by the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Powys, Wales, aims to plug the gaps between construction, architecture and the environment. Students taking the diploma will learn about design issues in the context of energy and the ecosystem.

In a press release, CAT said that the government’s sustainable construction legislation gives the construction industry an opportunity to bring about “fantastic environmental change” and “a chance to revitalise itself with a re-skilled workforce and new standards in design, construction and energy use”.

“Environmental considerations should never simply be bolted on, but built into design and construction from the beginning,” said CAT's Professor of Architecture, Tom Woolley. “Only this will result in beautiful, workable, low-energy homes".

Students will be able to practise on the in-construction Wales Institute for Sustainable Education (WISE) building, monitoring energy use, materials, methods and design. When it is finished, they will be able to carry out post-occupancy evaluation.

In other news, the Faculty of Arts and Architecture at the University of Brighton will examine how sustainable design is being taught in the UK, Europe and beyond. The conference, being convened as part of 100% Design, from September 19th to 21st, will include a tour of eco-architecture in Kent and Sussex and workshops in London. Organiser, Karen Blincoe, said the meet was part of an attempt to “future-proof the design profession".