• MOOC Starting date: 20/042021
  • MOOC Ending date: 28/05/2021
  • Registration for the MOOC: Open until 15/05/2021

EFFORTS NEEDED: 2 to 3 hours per week

LANGUAGE: English (some texts and forums in Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese)

The tropical zone is home to about half of the world's population. Much of this zone enjoys a relatively mild humid climate. Vernacular architectures were able to take advantage of the climate and local materials to produce comfortable buildings that meet the needs of the occupants.

Unfortunately, this environmentally friendly approach has become quite rare in modern construction. The current underlying trend is rather towards a standardized, globalist and non-contextualized architecture, and an immoderate use of concrete, glass and metal. And finally, one frequently sees outdoor units of air conditioners covering the facades of many buildings.

This 1st edition of the MOOC offers to reverse this trend by providing an update of the bioclimatic principles relevant to the tropical humid zones, giving a panoramic vision of the disciplines to be mastered for designing a sustainable building. This MOOC will be presented in English; some parts of the MOOC will, however, be accessible in local languages for participants from Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam.

A MOOC in French on the same topic has been presented by ADEME in the past, designed by Solener Consulting (and 6 experts) with the support of MOOC Unow Agency.


The training is divided into 3 modules. From 20th April 2021, and for three weeks, a new module opens every Tuesday to give rhythm to your learning. You will then have 3 additional weeks to complete the training, especially by engaging yourself in the proposed activities.

In this MOOC, you will find course videos of short duration (about 5-6 minutes), case studies of exemplary buildings, testimonials, examples, and application exercises. There are only two slots to be blocked: these are the virtual classes where you will have the opportunity to have live discussion with your trainers, ask questions and clarify your doubts. The dates will be communicated to you when the MOOC is launched.

The workload is estimated to be 2 to 3 hours per week, but according to your interest and your availability, you may devote more time to go deeper into the subject by consulting the additional resources (reading materials, examples, quizzes, exercises…).


Building practitioners (architects, engineers, contractors, builders involved in the design of buildings and management of building projects); students, scientists and researchers interested in specializing in low-energy buildings.

  • Get a panoramic view of the main disciplines to be mastered for designing and constructing a sustainable building in tropical humid zone

  • Learn how to mobilize human resources and suitable tools needed to optimize the design of a sustainable building

  • Acquire a shared common culture in terms of constructing with low energy and environmental impacts

  • Engage in an enriching dialogue among the various players in the building industry

  • Learn about exemplary achievements in tropical humid zones

1st Week – Building with the climate: scope in tropical humid zones
  • Parameters of comfort
  • Building practices: learning from the past
  • Challenges of building in tropical humid zones
  • Designing buildings to suit the local climates
  • Minimizing internal heat loads
  • Strategy to design buildings for the future
  • Life cycle impacts of buildings
2nd Week – Approaches and methodological steps
  • Urbanism and sustainable neighbourhood design
  • Climate responsive building design
  • Design methodologies for naturally conditioned buildings
  • Lowering embodied energy in buildings
  • Highly adapted design in constrained environments
  • Optimizing energy use in buildings
  • The overall cost approach applied to buildings
3rd Week – Feedback from experiences and the role of building users
  • The role of stakeholders in the construction chain
  • Client-side planning
  • Key role of building occupants
  • Computer tools to assess building energy performance
  • Sharing experiences of low-energy buildings

At the end of each of the 3 weeks of the MOOC, the knowledge you have acquired will be assessed using questionnaires. These questionnaires will be graded. You will be able to view your results and assess to what extent you have learned from the MOOC, from the "Progress" area. The participants who can spare adequate time on “Additional Resources” will be able to better respond to the questionnaires.

An activity, based on a real case of a building in a tropical zone, will also be shared with you so that you can put in practice what you learn from the videos. Though this exercise will not be graded, you will get opportunity to discuss the results with the trainers and fellow participants.


At the end of the training, you will receive a certificate of successful participation if you complete the 3 evaluation questionnaires and obtain a minimum of 70% correct answers.

This training certificate can allow you to highlight this MOOC on your CV / biodata.