REMF55-Sustainability and Real Estate

Module Provider: Real Estate and Planning
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2023/4

Module Convenor: Dr Jorn Van De Wetering

Type of module:

Summary module description:

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


This module aims to provide insights into the adoption of sustainable development principles in the property industry. Specifically, students will develop a systematic understanding and critical awareness of sustainable development concepts, policy actions, building energy, environmental and social 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:

Upon completion of this module, students should be able to: 

  • demonstrate?an?academic?and practical?understanding of sustainable development concepts and literature and how these relate to the built environment;? 

  • demonstrate a critical awareness, knowledge, and understanding of a range of views from?real estate market stakeholders on the significance of sustainable development issues in real estate practices, particularly commercial property investors and?occupiers; 

  • explain and critique different?approaches for assessing sustainability performance of new and existing buildings in the built environment;? 

  • identify?drivers which facilitate the implementation of sustainable development issues in?real estate markets?and?analyse?their importance;? 

  • demonstrate?a critical awareness, knowledge, and understanding of significant barriers and challenges related to the adoption of sustainability issues in real estate markets, including?their relevance.? 

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 essay 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:

  • Introduction to sustainable development? 

  • Global sustainability goals, policy frameworks and regulation 

  • Building energy, environmental and social assessment methods?(including balanced scorecards)? 

  • Sustainability issues for new and existing buildings?? 

  • The circular economy and building lifecycle thinking 

  • Sustainable construction methods and commonly used design principlesand materials? 

  • The concepts of Environmental Social Governance (ESG), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Socially Responsible Property Investment (SRPI)? 

  • The business case for sustainable buildings? 

  • Building resilience and sustainability risk factors, including transition risks and physical risks 

  • Sustainability and property valuation? 

  • Sustainability and Cities? 

Global context:

This module looks at the UK property industry, as well as applications of sustainable development adoption across global real estate markets. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module 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 an individual written academic essay. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 5
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 110
    Preparation for presentations 40
    Essay preparation 25
Total hours by term 0 200 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 75
Oral assessment and presentation 25

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The outputs are: 

  • One group presentation, which examines the importance of sustainable?development in a real estate context for a specific stakeholder (25%) - to be presented in spring term week 11 (timetable week 30) 

  • One individual?written assignment, which examines the adoption of sustainable development in real estate markets. Guide length: 3,750 words?(75%) - to be submitted in summer term week 1 (timetable week 34)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here:
The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

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: 30 March 2023


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