Online course

Modern Building Design

Learn how climate change, technology and regulation are changing modern building design and professional practice in construction.

Explore the trends influencing modern building design

Climate change, technology and regulation are changing modern building design, and the professional practices of the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.

This online course explores these trends, highlighting how higher education and the construction sector can address them. It’s been developed by the University of Bath’s highly rated Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering and draws on its new, interdisciplinary MSc programme in Modern Building Design.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 0 seconds[THEME MUSIC]

Skip to 0 minutes and 18 secondsI'm Dr Ricardo Codinhoto. I'm here to introduce you to the topic discussing our Modern Building Design course. We cannot continue designing buildings the way we used to. Modern life brings new challenges and designers are responsible for influencing the way we live our lives. Today, we have more specialisms in design and that requires a new approach to design management. A new profession is emerging, the design manager, playing a central role in the development of projects. Traditional ways of educating and training professionals have to adapt. It has to be integrated with the industry. It has to be delivered with more collaboration with industry. And that in itself brings new challenges.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 secondModern Building Design requires professionals that are able to develop research that informs design and construction. In our course, we discuss a few of the areas that our research teams have been working on to inform modern building design. We also discuss the challenges that humanity is facing. For instance, we discuss building resilience and the need for understanding water-sensitive design so that we can cope with rising sea levels. We also introduce the impacts of the energy crisis and strategies for creating low-carbon building design.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 secondsWe will leave the classroom to go to the lab to explore how nanotechnology is changing the way we think about things, the way we develop better materials and the way that we can create new forms based on new technologies. In this digital era we discuss how building information modelling through technology is helping us to integrate huge amounts of disconnected processes, people and information. And how design can be better integrated from its inception. We also discuss how design can impact positively and negatively in our well-being. We will provide you a much broader view and understanding of sustainability and that is what model building design is, in our view. [THEME MUSIC]

What topics will you cover?

  • The links between Higher Education and the Modern Building Design industry
  • The emerging role of the design manager
  • The importance of information modelling for enhanced design
  • New sustainable construction materials and techniques
  • Water-sensitive design for increased resilience
  • Buildings and their impact on health and wellbeing

When would you like to start?

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Develop an awareness of the various aspects that influence modern building design in current times
  • Identify the various areas where professionals within AEC can work (from the traditional office and site positions to lab-based ones)
  • Describe how design management, digital modelling, nanotechnology, resilience, wellbeing and sustainability are driving the AEC curriculum
  • Discuss the need for increased integration between HE and practice as the way forward to the formation of AEC professionals

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in modern building design processes, young people considering careers in the field and current professionals. No previous experience is necessary.

Who will you learn with?

Ricardo Codinhoto

A senior lecturer with expertise in design theory and management, lean design and construction and evidence-based design and building information modelling.

Who developed the course?

The University of Bath is one of the UK’s leading universities both in terms of research and our reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and graduate prospects.

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  • Access to this course for 5 weeks
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes


  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime