Core Courses

Modules structured in Semesters 

M1. Science and Research Fundamentals (10 ECTS; 1st semester) 

Introduction to Scientific Research (VO 2.0 ECTS)
Understanding of the principles of scientific research. Research principles, methods, and design are introduced. An overview of the research paradigms in natural sciences, engineering, design science, and social sciences is provided. Special instances of research designs pertaining to the building domain are presented.

Scientific Writing and Publication (VU 1.0 ECTS)
The focus in this course is predominantly directed towards the development of term papers and the master thesis. The ability to citate and reference - taking into account a provided style - is severely strengthened and will be of significant advantage for the forthcoming preparation of the Master Thesis proposal. Alongside, the retrieval of relevant literature - other than solely via google - will be reinforced. In the framework of this course, an overview on different scientific publication entities and their specific properties is delivered. The participants explore the subsequent milestones in the procedure of working out a publication. Especially to the handling of the context and retrieval of related efforts sincere attention is paid. Aspects of bibliographical information will be presented as well. On top of this, the mastering of citation - and the determination of differing referencing styles - plays a major role.  Issues such as paper-based vs. electronic publishing, literature retrieval and open access will also be addressed.

Current Topics in Building Performance (SE 2.0 ECTS)
Overview of the current trends in Building Science and Technology. Researchers of the department of building physics and building ecology as well as visitors present current and recent research activities and projects. An in-depth understanding of international trends in various fields of building science and technology is offered.

Mathematics for Building Science (VO 3.0 ECTS)
This course provides an introduction to concepts in higher mathematics and statistics: numbers, counts, vector, matrices; mathematical induction, sequences and series, terms, differential calculus and integrals; basic concepts of statistics, distribution functions, combinatorics.

Physics for Building Science (VO 2.0 ECTS)
This course introduces the requisite scientific fundamentals for the major thematic foci in building science and technology. Specifically, the course covers the necessary foundations in physics (thermodynamics, optics, and acoustics).


M2. Building Physics (10 ECTS; 1st and 2nd semester)

Thermal Aspects of Building Performance (VO 5.0 ECTS)
Understanding of the fundamentals (theory and practice) of thermal building performance modeling and simulation. This course introduces fundamentals and computational methods in building performance modeling. Topics include: modeling and design; overview of thermal domain knowledge; integration of performance simulation in computer-aided design; introduction to the application of advanced computational building simulation tools; case studies and design assignments on the application of simulation in the evaluation and improvement of building performance.

Visual Aspects of Building Performance (VO 3.0 ECTS)
Compact review and depthening of the scientific foundations of daylighting, illuminating engineering. This course aims at enabling students to understand the fundamentals of light:Physics of light, Daylighting, Artificial lighting, technical basic of different luminaire-systems, function of the human eye. Additionally the course equips students with the necessary background knowledge for the use of high-performance lighting simulation tools.

Acoustical Aspects of Building Performance (VO 2.0 ECTS)
UCompact review and depthening of the scientific foundations of acoustics. This course aims at enabling students to understand the fundamentals of acoustics: physical acoustic, building acoustics, room acoustics, function of the human ear. Additionally the course equips students with the necessary background knowledge for the use of high-performance acoustical simulation tools.


M3. Building Performance Simulation (10 ECTS; 1st and 2nd semester)

Thermal Building Performance Simulation (VO 5.0 ECTS)
Use of computational tools for the prediction and analysis of a building’s performance in regard to building physics. This lecture provides an introduction to building performance modeling. Topics: Introduction to thermal, acoustic and optical modeling, building simulation using CAD.

Visual Building Performance Simulation (VO 3.0 ECTS)
Knowledge of visual building performance simulation. Learning of a set of visual building performance tools.

Acoustical Building Performance Simulation (VO 2.0 ECTS)
Knowledge of Acoustical Simulation in Building Science. Learning the fundamentals of acoustical building performance tools


M4. Tools and Media (5 ECTS; 1st semester)

Tools and Media (VU 5.0 ECTS)
In this course, students are exposed to various digital tools and media that are commonly used to support knowledge-based design decision making, to conduct research, and to disseminate results. These include spreadsheets and databases, mathematics and statistics packages, presentation media and script languages, simulation applications and the basics of programming.


M5. Building Controls and Diagnostics (10 ECTS; 2nd and 3rd semester)

Prerequisites: M1 and Thermal Aspects of Building Performance

Building Monitoring and Diagnostics (VU 5.0 ECTS)
Introduction to the concept of “intelligent building”, modern building systems and building control. The course is supported by case studies and design exercises.

Building Systems and Controls (VU 5.0 ECTS)
Introduction to sustainability analysis of buildings and building components, life-cycle assessment and environmental impact analysis.


M6. Building Informatics (10 ECTS; 2nd semester)

Prerequisites: M4

Introduction to programming (VU 3.0 ECTS)
Understanding fundamental concept of programming. Basic Concepts of Programming in a established programming language.

Computation Design Support methods (VU 3.0 ECTS)
In Depth Introduction to computer aided design support methods. Introduction to Programming with the Matlab-Environment. Script-based Analysis von Building data. Parametric optimisation with the Linking of Matlab and established Simulation-Tools.

Current issues in building informatics (VU 4.0 ECTS)
In-depth discussion of current issues in the field of building informatics.


M7. Building Ecology and Human Ecology (5 ECTS; 3rd semester)

Building Ecology (VU 3.0 ECTS)
Understanding of the principles of building ecology. This course introduces methods for the description and evaluation of ecological performance of building elements, components, systems, and structures. Specifically, the application of LCA (Life-Cycle Assessment) and EIA (Environmental Impact Analysis) techniques in the building domain is introduced.

Human Ecology (VO 2.0 ECTS)
Understanding of the complex patterns of interactions between people and built environments. This course introduces scientific approaches toward the understanding of the complex patterns of interactions between people and built environments. Knowledge gained in various relevant scientific disciplines (biology, physiology, and cognitive sciences) are processes into a unified discursive framework toward integrative assessment of specific questions regarding the occupancy evaluation.


M8. Applied Research (10 ECTS; 3rd semester)

Prerequisites: M1

Project Course (UE 10.0 ECTS)
This course involves work on realistic problems in the areas of building performance and design computing in collaboration with practitioners.

Master Project Seminar (SE 2.0 ECTS)
The goal of this course is encourage the students to systematically develop a proposal for their Master’s thesis. This involves the selection of the research area and the research topic. Moreover, the students are to gain confidence in developing the general structure of a fitting research design. A further learning effect is expected to arise in consideration and inclusion of critical feedback provided by the instructors and fellow course participants toward iterative improvement of the proposal quality. At the end of the course an approved proposal and corresponding supervision agreement will be submitted, so that the Master’s thesis work can proceed in a procedurally solid manner. Students explore and articulate ideas for a Master's thesis topic within the topical framework of Building Science & Technology. Each student prepares – in writing – and presents a Master's thesis proposal. This document outlines the thesis, its motivation and background, as well as the applied methodology and expected results. The students are expected to modify and improve the proposals based on feedback received.


M9. Master Thesis (30 ECTS; 4th semester)

Prerequisites: Master Project Seminar

Master Thesis (UE 30.0 ECTS)


M10. Electives and Softskills (18 ECTS)

Recommendation for 1st Semester (5.0 ECTS)

Recommendation for 2nd Semester (5.0 ECTS)

Recommendation for 3rd Semester (8.0 ECTS)


Further information about the lectures can be found in the TISS lecture information system. Please note that for administrative reasons, some courses might be listed with their German title (e.g. "Energie und Gebäude" instead of "Energy and Buildings"). All core courses are taught in English, even if they are listed with their German title.