Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Architecture engineering

Publication Details

OIKONET “Global Dwelling - Research, Education, Community Participation” Conference at La Salle School of Architecture, Universitat Ramon Llull, Carrer de Sant Joan de la Salle, 42, 08022 Barcelona, Spain on 25-26 September 2014. Paper, presentation and panel discussion subsequently published online on the Oikonet website -


There is some agreement and much debate among interested parties about what constitutes ‘sustainable housing’. The term ‘sustainable’ is used somewhat liberally to mean different things to different listeners. Governments, institutions, interest groups and individual designers often address certain aspects while ignoring the bigger picture. But the bigger picture is such a multivalent issue that includes aspects outside the architect’s immediate remit such as location, transport, security, procurement policy and post-occupancy analysis and management. Or are these outside the architect’s remit?

Teaching sustainable housing within conventional architecture programmes means educators are restricted to identifying certain key issues that students should learn within a specific teaching timeframe, given the necessity for the students to demonstrate ability in the mainstay of architectural education – individual design approach, urban design, apartment planning, regulatory compliance and aesthetic aspiration.

Or should we be more radical in our pedagogical approach to such an urgent need?

This paper reflects on the teaching and learning of sustainable housing in challenging urban contexts by staff and students in 4th year at the Dublin School of Architecture, DIT in Semester 2, 2014 with reference to international examples and key texts on the issue.



EU Life Long Learning Fund