Professional course An Introduction to Zero Carbon Buildings

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
School of Architecture and Environment
Four x 120 minute sessions over four consecutive Fridays
Online-live sessions and self-study
Course Director
Patrick O'Flynn

Page last updated 24 April 2024


This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is for professionals of the built environment who wish to raise their awareness of zero carbon design and construction. It sets out the process of building development in a zero carbon context, raising awareness of the technical, social and economic challenges that need to be overcome in transitioning to zero carbon.

The course reviews the definitions of zero carbon, how it relates to the wider sustainability agenda, zero carbon design and construction skills, zero carbon technologies, the collaborative effort of construction professionals required to deliver zero carbon and economic feasibility techniques that can fully assess the impact of zero carbon.

What do I get out of it?

Benefits to the individual: Raised awareness and an ability to plan future personal development. A certificate of attendance from UWE Bristol will be issued to demonstrate your CPD has been completed.

Benefits to employers: Allow employees to get recognised CPD from UWE Bristol for their staff in an academic environment.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course.

Who is it for?

Although intended as an introduction for experienced professionals, to help them identify the new skills required for Zero Carbon, this course is also suitable for students and early career professionals who want to know more about the future of building development.

Related professionals of the built environment including:

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Managers
  • Surveyors
  • Technologists



This introductory course is delivered over four weeks covering the following topics:

  1. Define zero carbon and its relation to the wider sustainability agenda
  2. Zero carbon techniques and technologies
  3. Behaviours and collaborations required to deliver zero carbon
  4. Zero carbon design, engineering, construction and procurement skills

Topics will cover residential, commercial and public sector buildings. The UK context will set the basis of the principle case studies, but relation to international context will also be discussed.

Aspects of zero carbon not covered include planning, transport and grid engineering.

The overall course learning objectives are:

  • To raise awareness of the social, economic and technical challenges of achieving zero carbon building development.
  • Allow professionals of the Built Environment to identify their role in delivering zero carbon and any related knowledge/skills gap, allowing them to plan for future CPD.

Study time

Each week participants shall be given a study guide to set the context of the session and allow them to prepare and self-assess their progress.

The course consists of four 120 minute weekly sessions which will be both broadcast live online (dates and times below), and also available in the week following each session as recorded interactive learning objects. This will allow you flexibility in how and when you engage.


Professional accreditation

You will receive a CPD Certificate of Attendance either on completion of the live session and feedback questionnaire or on completion of the recorded session and the relevant feedback questionnaire within a week of the release of the recording (two hours of CPD per session).

Study facilities

This programme is delivered fully online. UWE Bristol has invested significantly in online resources to support your study.

To ensure you are able to access materials and can participate fully in the live sessions broadcasted on Teams Live, please see the following required computer specifications:

  • Operating system: Windows 7+, Mac OS 10.9
  • Web browser: Firefox is the optimal browser. However other browsers such as Google Chrome (version 79 or later) are also compatible.
  • Additional requirements: Internet Access - 28.8 kbps speed or above. Slower internet connections may cause issues with audio and video.
  • Microphone and speakers/headphones

Get a feel for the Geography and Environmental Management facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

As a MOOC, this course is available free of charge.


This course is planned to run again in 2024. Course dates, updated fees and online booking forms will be published here in the summer of 2024. Please complete our online enquiry form below to be notified once these details are made available. 

Cohort TBCDate TBCTime TBC

Recordings of the sessions as interactive learning objects will be available for 1 week following each session. This will allow participants flexibility in how and when they engage.

How to apply

Bookings for this course have now closed. To enquire about the course, please complete the Enquiry Form below

TBCBooking ClosedEnquire Now

For further information

  • Email: For queries regarding administration aspects of registration (i.e. dates, booking, etc.), please contact us using the enquiry form above or phone number below.
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 81043 (option 1, then option 3)