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Sergio Altomonte

The Value of Variance: Designing for Comfort and Well-Being

Series: MArch Keynote - Sustainable Environmental Design
Date: Tuesday 7 January 2020
Time: 18:30
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 83 mins

Comfort and well-being are recurring topics in building research, standards and practices. However, within today's pressing energy efficiency agendas, the achievement of occupant comfort and well-being poses significant design and operational challenges, exacerbated by difficulty in defining  robust metrics and models for their measurement and prediction. In fact, there may be large discrepancies between requirements for building energy efficiency, the conditions demanded for comfortable task performance, and what occupants may need over time. Moving away from efficiency targets that are based on neutral acceptability of static indoor environments, the lecture will explore the need for integration of new and diverse knowledge to sustain building performance while offering enriched opportunities for occupant comfort and well-being.

Sergio Altomonte is Professor of Architectural Physics at the University of Louvain, Belgium, where he directs the research group Architecture et Climat. He has held academic appointments in Italy (Rome), Australia (Melbourne) and UK (Nottingham), and visiting positions in Denmark (KADK, Copenhagen) and US (Berkeley). He has been External Examiner of the AA Sustainable Environmental Design programme (2015-18).

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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.