Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module focuses on developing a conceptual understanding of sustainable development and its applications in real estate markets. The focus is on the adoption of sustainability in the property industry throughout real estate life cycles, including how the concept is relevant and manifests itself at various life cycle stages, i.e. development, design, construction, operation, refurbishment and retrofitting. The module also focuses on drivers and barriers for the adoption of sustainable practices in the property industry, which includes the business case for sustainability.


This module aims to provide an insight into the adoption of sustainable development principles in the property industry. Specifically, students will gain a systematic understanding and critical awareness of sustainable development concepts, policy actions, building energy and environmental assessment methods, building construction methods and important property sustainability debates and their relevance to a range of stakeholders in the built environment. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

In this module, students will develop the following:

- a practical and academic understanding of key sustainable development concepts and how these relate to the built environment;

- a critical awareness of a range of views from key real estate stakeholders on the importance of sustainability in real estate practices;

- an insight into various mandatory and voluntary energy and environmental assessment methods (including balanced scorecards) for new and existing buildings in the built environment and their key characteristics;

- a critical understanding of significant drivers that facilitate the implementation of sustainability in the built environment and their importance;

- a critical understanding of significant barriers and challenges related to the adoption of sustainability in real estate markets and their relevance;

- an insight into sustainable construction methods and commonly used design principles and materials.

Additional outcomes:

- deal with complex ‘real world’ issues relating to the impacts of sustainability concerns on the efficient use of property, both systematically and creatively;

- develop report writing and critical analysis skills through appropriate coursework and communicate conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences; 

- contribute to the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment, in particular decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations.

Outline content:

- Sustainable Development

- Global Sustainability Concerns

- Policy Frameworks and Legislative Impacts

- Mandatory and Voluntary Energy and Environmental Building Assessment Methods

- Sustainability Issues for New and Existing Buildings 

- Construction, ‘Green’ Buildings and Sustainability

- The Business Case for Sustainable Buildings

- Sustainability and Property Valuation

- Sustainable Development and Property Risk Factors

- Corporate Social Responsibility and Socially Responsible Property Investment

- Sustainability and Cities

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The course comprises lectures and practitioner-led seminars. The overall objective of the assessment is to provide insights into sustainability practices in the real estate sector, benchmark sustainability performance and to capture appropriate examples of best practice. The coursework comprises a group presentation and a group report. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 5
Guided independent study 175
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 70
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The outputs are:

- One group presentation, which examines the importance of sustainability in a real estate context for a specific stakeholder. (30%)

- One individual report, which examines the adoption of sustainable development in real estate markets. Guide length: 3,500 words. (70%)

All word counts are for guidance only. Unless the specific requirement of an individual assignment states that the word limit is strict, then there is some discretion with the guide length.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

The pass-mark for this module is 50%. 

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment will be by the same method as for the module’s original assessment requirements, subject to variation by the Examination Board where appropriate.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 31 July 2018


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