93706 - Advanced Building Physics

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will have acquired an in-depth knowledge on the thermal behavior of the building system and has acquired the design skills for different types of technological envelopes and HVAC plants for closed spaces.

Course contents


Designing sustainable buildings requires choices among different materials and components of bulding envelope, and technological solutions for the efficient use of energy and natural resources. This implies that the building fabric and the building services must be understood both as single components and as interacting systems.

The course introduces students to advanced building physics topics, principle of HVAC and energy efficient building systems. It subsequently describes energy modelling techniques for analysing buildings as an integrated system of interacting components and processes leading to low energy consumption and to satisfy occupant comfort.


Review the basic principles of thermodynamics, heat transfer and psychrometry with application in buildings,

Review of Indoor Environmental Quality principles and international standards

Energy Efficient Building Systems

Introduction to energy efficient Building Systems. Overlook of advanced envelope systems, sustainable materials and embedded energy. Dynamic behaviour of building envelope systems. Thermal energy storage in Buildings and in ground. Radiation and performances of transparent systems. Natural ventilation in Buildings. Energy needs for heating and cooling.

Introduction to HVAC, RES systems

Hydronic and Air Conditioning systems for indoor heating and cooling. Mechanical Ventilation.  Energy productions systems from Renewable Sources. Description of technological solutions, energy performances and design criteria.

Building Performance Modelling

Introduction to Building Energy Simulation. Modelling Techniques: transfer equations, lumped system analysis. BES Computer Models: techniques and applications

Practical Exercise: energy modelling of Building components and analysis of energy performance simulations





Teacher Slides

Design Builder User Manual

Teaching methods

short video presentation of course topics

classroom lessons on building physics topics

classroom discussion of detailed aspects and practical designing solutions of HVAC and RES technological solutions

PPT Slides of course materials are available before each classroom lecture

Assessment methods

control of Practical exercises results, in terms of student's skills to design approach and calculation methods for buildng energy assessment.

oral discussion on course topics

Teaching tools

Video presentations

PPT slides

software tools for energy assessment of building

Office hours

See the website of Giovanni Semprini