This unit specifies the outcomes required to apply the principles of sustainability to building design. It includes the application of sustainable practices to minimise negative impacts of the construction process and land use on the environment, incorporate passive design, sustainable water use and energy efficiency into a building design and select suitable materials for the construction of the building. It requires compliance with relevant legislation, Australian Standards and the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication. However, this unit forms part of a minimum qualification requirement for registration with the Victorian Building Authority as a building designer (architectural).

Unit details

Study level:
Vocational and further education (TAFE)
Unit code:


Assessment tasks will be designed to reinforce and extend knowledge and skill competence within set and controlled parameters in accordance with each unit's learning outcomes and performance criteria requirements, including the setting of work based practical application tasks designed to provide evidence of competence outcomes, within periodic and scheduled timelines. Students will be expected to demonstrate the following required skills: - enable clear and direct communication, using questioning to identify and confirm requirements and share information with internal and external personnel; - read and interpret: the BCA; relevant legislation and Australian Standards and other relevant documentation; - research information on sustainable building principles; - use language and concepts appropriate to industry conventions; - develop recommendations and strategies for sustainable building design; - document data and findings to industry standards; - teamwork skills to work effectively with clients and other stakeholders; - analyse and evaluate data on construction materials and integrate sustainable and energy efficient systems into building design; - determine the potential cost versus benefit of alternative sustainable options; - planning and organisational skills to collect, organise and analyse information on sustainable building practices; - initiative and enterprise skills in interpreting information and developing sustainable design solutions; - learning skills in updating knowledge of sustainable materials and building practices; - technology skills to: complete documentation, calculations and operate computer energy rating system, and; - work safely in a design drafting working environment according to legislation and workplace policies and procedures. Students will also be expected to demonstrate the following knowledge: - principles of sustainability in building design; - mandatory disclosure; - green star rating system; - building adaptation for catastrophic events responding to climate change; - indoor environmental quality (air quality, thermal comfort, acoustics); - characteristics of ecosystems; - macro and micro climates; - site topography features; - effects of fossil fuels on the atmosphere; - energy consumption relative to construction processes and building use; - greenhouse gas emissions and ozone depletion theories; - impacts of climate change; - impacts of national strategies on building design; - principles of designing buildings for durability and adaptability; - life cycle assessment principles; - basic principles of cradle-to-grave analysis; - nature of construction materials and effect on performance; - R values (overall thermal resistance) for construction material; - software used to predict building performance; - energy auditing principles; - processes for the administration and preparation of documentation; - processes for the development of documentation, such as working drawings and specifications; - the BCA Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) energy efficiency provisions; - occupational health and safety (OHS)/Work health and safety (WHS) workplace policies and procedures, and; - relevant federal, state or territory legislation and local government policy and procedures.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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