Master's Degree in Environmental Management and Building Design

Credits: 60 credits
Duration: 10 months
Start: September
Location: Pamplona Campus, with stays at universities overseas (Cardiff University and Technische Universität Dresden).
Modality: On campus, full time
Language: Spanish and English
Fees: 13.104 €
Contact: masters_etsa@unav.es

The Master's Degree in Environmental Management and Building Design (MDGAE: Spanish acronym) is an official master's degree comprising 60 ECTS credits; it is intended for architects, construction engineers and graduates in other engineering disciplines. It seeks to train experts in the field of environmental and construction design, focused on environmental certification, energy management (passive and active measures) and materials management, in life-cycle analysis and new construction systems, to allow graduates to deal with advances in a continuously evolving sector.

Prospective student profile

Aimed at university students and professionals who desire to excel in the professional market and become specialists in sustainability in building. Students must have knowledge of installations, construction, fluent Spanish and an advanced knowledge of English.

Why the University of Navarra?

1. Practical application: quantifying sustainability

Students in the MDGAE learn to quantify the efficiency of environmental measures adopted in order to reduce the environmental impact of buildings. They work with simulation programs (Design Builder, Passive House Standard, SimaPro, etc.) and monitoring equipment to verify the real-world behavior of buildings (sensors, dataloggers, thermal mass flow meters, blower doors, thermographic cameras).

2. Internationalization

Professors from the United Kingdom, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, China and the United States, among other nationalities, teach classes for the MDGAE with the goal of presenting the material for the master's degree from a global perspective. In addition, the MDGAE program allows students to complete a module comprising 6 ECTS credits at foreign universities, namely, Cardiff University and Technische Universität Dresden. This opportunity ensures that MDGAE students acquire the skills they need to pursue their career in an international and multicultural environment.

3. Cooperation with the world of business

The master's degree program benefits from collaboration with major companies in the sector; this gives students the opportunity to conduct their Master's Thesis Project in a business setting, as well as to create synergies between business and academia.

4. Links to research

The direct relationship between the master's degree and research projects in the Construction Department of the School of Architecture, as well as synergies with other national and international research groups, makes the MDGAE an educational program that incorporates the latest advances and results in environmental innovation and building technologies.


The Master's Degree in Environmental Management and Building Design (MDGAE: Spanish acronym) is an official master's degree that lasts one academic year (September to June). The program trains professionals who specialize in the application of measures to reduce the environmental impact of construction.

Students take 60 ECTS credits in total, divided into subjects (36 ECTS credits) and a Master's Thesis Project carried out in a corporate setting (24 ECTS credits).

At the end of the period of study, students have the skills to work in a real professional environment and to collaborate in the environmental design and management of buildings (passive and active measures), as well as to conduct certification and energy audits, and building life-cycle analyses. It is at this point when students begin to conduct their Master's Thesis Project in a corporate setting, which consists of the study and development of a real-world case that requires the application of all the knowledge and skills acquired during the program, as well as a subsequent defense before a committee.

Principles of Sustainability

This subject provides an overview  of sustainability and environmental issues, and will review the basic concepts related to heat transfer and energy of buildings

Energy management. Passive measures

This subject focuses on climate variables and the influence of the environment on building design, and on the definition of architectural solutions for the thermal envelope under summer and winter conditions.

Energy and water management. Active measures

The subject will cover the student application of building installations, assessing the parameters involving energy efficiency and reduced consumption at all times, and the integration of renewable energies with conventional sources.

Environmental building certification

In this subject students learn about the most important issues involved in different management and certification systems, computer simulation techniques for environmental building design and experimentation techniques for prototyping and monitoring real buildings.

Material and waste management

The purpose of this subject is to present the most significant issues in material and waste management so as to reduce environmental impact in building construction, covering aspects from the extraction of raw materials to the end of the construction process, building use and end-of-life, so that the Life Cycle of a building can be analyzed in its entirety.

Management of other environmental issues

This subject offers a general understanding of sustainability issues from different international perspectives. The subject is taught at Cardiff University (UK) and Technische Universität Dresden (Germany).

Master's Thesis Project

The practical training provided on the master's program is completed with Master's Thesis  Project undertaken at a construction company, where student will be able to apply the knowledge acquired in a real-world professional context.