Sustainable Tropical Housing

Subject ABPL90152 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

October, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

This subject is a quota subject and places are limited to 12. Students may provisionally enroll via the Student Portal, but places are not guaranteed until selection is completed. You will be notified in writing by the Student Centre if you are selected.

Should the number of applications for this subject exceed the number of places available, applicants will be ranked on the basis of a 300 word statement asking them to outline how they see this subject aligning with their broader educational goals.

(A panel of a minimum of two academic staff members will be involved in the selection process and selection outcomes will be recorded using a matrix of criteria).

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: This subject runs as a field trip project at the end of Semester 2 every second year. It also has two ‘build’ components where students build full scale buildings, one at the Creswick campus and one interstate or overseas.
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours, including studio time, seminars and site visits.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

702-450 Sustainable Tropical Housing (UG)

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :


Dr David O'Brien


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject will introduce the principles for designing and constructing sustainable housing in the tropics. It addresses the effects of both sociological and technical issues and discusses affordability, liveability, environmental impacts, sociality and relationships between community networks and space. The first part of the subject addresses these issues on both a theoretical and case study basis while the second part takes this background material ‘into the field’ to address real life problems via the design studio (and where possible design and construct studios) in Southeast Asia or northern Australia.


On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • identify and engage critically with issues of social and environmental sustainability;
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the design and construction processes governing tropical housing.
  • Class participation 10%.
  • Seminar presentation equivalent to 2000 words 30%.
  • Design proposals, projects and workshop exercises equivalent to at least 3000 words 60%.

Assessment and submissions will be made progressively after return from the field trip.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Ability to engage in interdisciplinary work.
  • An understanding of ethical responses to issues.
  • Presentation of projects verbally and graphically.
  • Analysis and synthesis of data.
  • Ability to analyse social and cultural contexts.
  • Spatial analysis.
  • Creative response to complex problems.
  • Ability to work in a cross-cultural design team and to manage group and individual contributions.
Related Course(s): Master of Architecture
Master of Architecture
Postgraduate Diploma in Planning and Design
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Energy Efficiency Modelling and Implementation
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions

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