Course syllabus



Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen.

Study planLinks to an external site.


ACE 580

Sustainable Transformation of a Derelict Industrial building

Course is offered by the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering


Contact details

 examiner / course responsible:  Walter Unterrainer

  • teacher    Jay Williams
  • teacher Alexander Hollberg
  • Transsolar Munich


Course purpose


ACE 580 ´Sustainable Transformation of a Derelict Industrial Building´ is a close to practice course, communicating and training skills and competences for the transformation of a derelict industrial building with a strong environmental and social agenda. The course is open for students of architecture together with students of engineering and architectural engineering, to develop a common project in a collaborate design team, the way how it happens in advanced practice.

Transformation is an imperative for climate responsive building strategies, simultaneously in many countries it represents the majority of building activities, exceeding new buildings and therefore requires architects who are fit for these challenges.

Overall theme is sustainable transformation and resilience, and the chosen location is a former leather and shoe factory in Borås. It is a large building with many qualities and parts of it is protected. Presently the building is fragmented and rent out to different companies, but the renting contract will not be prolonged, and the municipality is interested in ideas for a holistic combination of programs and for giving the building a second life by a sustainable transformation. Housing will be one aspect of this new program.

In accordance with the city architect of Borås and at the site visit, we will decide which part of the factory you need to zoom in for your transformation.



see detailed hourly schedule under CANVAS files


Course design

The course supports innovation and speculative ideas for a creative spatial program and building proposals, which are grounded on thorough investigations, different calculations and simple simulations concerning daylight, energy, green-house gases and global warming potential, water, life cycle costs etc.

The course is supported by workshops on daylight and energy/life cycle tools according schedule. You learn and exercise these tools for daylight investigations as well as for preliminary energy calculations and an approximate Life Cycle Assessment of your proposal.

The goal is designing an architectural project in an existing but partly unused or misused building, based on investigation and with support of these tools.  

The final delivery is a coherent program for the whole building, an architectural project on scale 1:200 for parts of the building (minimum 3 posters) as well as some key details of this design, connected to a technical report which is edited in collaboration with the engineering students of ACE 285, who are joining 50% of this course.

The report documents environmental calculations and data of the design.


The course starts with investigating and analyzing the building in Borås in context to the city and there is a guided on-site visit. This investigation will be supported by local stakeholders. The outcome of your investigation will be programmatic ideas for an incremental development process of the building.




Changes made since the last occasion

The course is new but is replacing ARK350


Learning objectives and syllabus

  •  to design sustainable architecture
    -    to visualize the performance concerning energy, environment and indoor climate in a building
    -    to find new programmes for a building, which used to be an industrial production site.
  • -    to describe and analyse the basic features in sustainable building
    -    to design systems for good indoor climate and energy efficiency
    -    to cooperate across disciplinary boundaries in design processes.
  • to prepare a professional presentation

Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen.

Study planLinks to an external site.


Examination form

The project will be continuously discussed and assessed during the whole design process, with a final presentation in January 2024.

The specific content of this presentation (the content of your posters and report) will be specified by the examiner after midterm crits in written form on Canvas, according to your proposal.

All deadlines in the calendar for deliveries of workshops, midcrit and final crits are mandatory. 

The course requires active participation in common activities, lectures, seminars and reviews. It ends with a hand-in of all student work during the course period on Canvas, which will be presented and discussed in a final review.

The specific components of these deliveries will be announced in advance and will be based on the site-specific building project as well as in the student´s design strategy. In any case, they include explanatory diagrams for reprogramming, relevant plans and sections as well as selected detail-sections (decided on base of the design).

A calculation of the environmental impact resp. greenhouse gas savings is mandatory, in comparison to the same building/components thought as a newly built structure.  

Tutorials and examinations are both hybrid.

If you are asked to make minor revisions to your final hand-in, these should be submitted within 2  weeks after the final review. In the case of major revision, a date will be discussed in dialogue with the examiner and the student. It is not possible to make revisions to pass if you have missed substantial parts of the course (lectures, seminars, supervision) and failed to present a project at the final review that is at least 70% ready.


Course summary:

Date Details Due