Operational Energy Basics for Sustainable Architectural Design

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Webinar On-Demand
Sponsored by Vectorworks
Presented by Luka Stefanovic

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand project lifecycle stages and how carbon is assessed for projects’ whole lifecycle.
  2. Learn the difference between embodied and operational carbon and their importance in reducing carbon footprints.
  3. Start assessing operational carbon and energy performance from the earliest stages with a building form factor.
  4. Identify the basics of energy efficient design such as U-values, thermal conductivity, shading, solar gains, and advanced concepts such as thermal bridging, and airtightness, and discover how best to apply these principles to projects.


*1 ZNDC Credit
AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour
MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA.
This course can be self-reported to the NSAA
NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
OAA 1 Learning Hour
SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.
*State-certified members self-report 1 Hour Zero Net Carbon Design Credit
As an IACET Accredited Provider, BNP Media offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard.
This course is approved as a Structured Course
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
Approved for structured learning
Approved for Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA
Course may qualify for Learning Hours with NWTAA
Course eligible for OAA Learning Hours
This course is approved as a core course
This course can be self-reported for Learning Units to the Architectural Institute of British Columbia

The energy and climate crisis pose big questions to architects and in order to start answering them, knowledge about some of the most used terminology and concepts of sustainable architecture is necessary to deliver quality designs. This course will go through project lifecycle stages and whole lifecycle carbon assessments, operational and embodied carbon, before focusing on operational energy basics. It will explain ideas such as form factor, building envelope, U-Values, thermal conductivity, solar heat gains, shading, thermal bridging, and airtightness, as well as building regulations and benchmarks. Demystifying these concepts and understanding how to apply them in practice will lead to greater adoption of sustainable principles in architectural projects.


Photo courtesy of TAAO | Atelier 5 - Bern 131


As Architectural Engineer, Luka has worked on a number of UK office and residential-based projects of varying scales, taking on architectural and technical design across the design and construction stages of projects. He has also worked internationally on projects ranging from design competition entries, EXPO exhibition design, and interior design.

With a longstanding passion for sustainable architecture, Luka has been involved in research projects on energy modelling which resulted in conference presentations, webinars, university projects, and participation in buildingSMART’s International Expert Panel for Information Delivery Manual (IDM) Development for Building Energy Modelling (BEM). His interest in embodied carbon has led him to create a calculator for the assessment of carbon emissions directly from a BIM model.

As a senior architecture industry specialist at Vectorworks, Luka is responsible for all architectural matters. He has frequent meetings with practices, consulting or providing CPDs, optimising workflows for users, and providing feedback to the software development team.


Vectorworks, Inc. Vectorworks, Inc. is an award-winning design and BIM software provider serving the architecture, landscape architecture and entertainment industries in 85 countries. Creating intuitive software since 1985, we’ve become the preeminent software built to manage the entire design process. Globally more than 685,000 users are creating, connecting and influencing the next generation of design with Vectorworks on Mac and Windows. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with offices in Newbury and London, England and Vancouver, Canada, Vectorworks is a part of the Nemetschek Group. Learn how we empower designers to create experiences that transform the world at vectorworks.net or follow @Vectorworks.


Originally published in May 2023