Sustainable Tropical Housing

Subject ABPL90152 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

November, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 11-Nov-2016 to 16-Dec-2016
Assessment Period End 16-Dec-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Nov-2016
Census Date 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 02-Dec-2016

Quota: 12

This subject is a quota subject and places are limited. Students may provisionally enrol 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.

Selection criteria: 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.

For detailed information on the quota subject application process and due dates, refer to the EDSC Quota Subjects webpage:

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: This subject has two ‘build’ components where students build full scale buildings, one at the Creswick campus and one interstate or overseas.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Admission into a course at the Melbourne School of Design.

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

702-450 Sustainable Tropical Housing (UG)

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr David O'Brien



The Eastern Precinct (building 138)
(between Doug McDonell building and Eastern Resource Centre)

Current Student:

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.

Learning Outcomes:

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

  • LO1: Identify and engage critically with issues of social and environmental sustainability;
  • LO2: Demonstrate a critical understanding of the design and construction processes governing tropical housing;
  • LO3: Participation in the design and construction of structures in dialogue with local communities
  • Class participation, assessed at completion of subject (10%);
  • Studio presentation (equivalent to 2000 words), due before fieldwork beigins (30%);
  • Design proposals, projects and workshop exercises (equivalent to at least 3000 words), assessed at completion of subject (60%).
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.

Safety boots, safety glasses and ear muffs are required for workshop activities in this subject (to be provided by the student).

Related Course(s): Master of Architecture
Master of Architecture
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 200 point Master of Architecture
300 point Master of Architecture
Energy Efficiency Modelling and Implementation
Energy Efficiency Modelling and Implementation
Melbourne School of Design multidisciplinary elective subjects
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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