About STB

About M.Arch in Sustainable Tall Buildings (STB)

This course introduces tall buildings as a strategy for urban sustainability and densification for the 21st Century. It explores advanced concepts of urban and social living, smart structures and systems, vertical landscaping, construction, and bioclimatic design for super-tall skyscraper.

[Note for New Applicants: The course has now been merged with MArch Design. So you cannot enter as MArch STB, but if you complete all the credits required for the degree of MArch STB, you can graduate with STB degree.)

The M.Arch Sustainable Tall Buildings (STB) programme originates with Ken Yeang's theory that tall buildings can be part of the strategy for urban sustainability in the 21st Century. The world is facing combined problems of coming Climate Change, Energy shortage, Water and Food shortage, and growing Populations all expecting higher living standards. We are seeing the emergence of mega-cities like Tokyo and Shanghai where population growth, expectations of better living standards, and land values are such that there is no choice but to build tall. In rapidly developing countries like India and China, vast migration from country to city has inflated population levels, causing immense pressures on city growth, but without the luxury of mass car ownership. Cities, governed by the motorcar, have sprawled in a low density way that is unsustainable in the post-oil era.
    The outdated tall building model of single-use, glassy, air-conditioned, energy-consuming towers is unsustainable in the arid post-oil world - but developers keep building them, and cities are still slow to develop regulatory frameworks to force development to adopt more sustainable designs.
   So we ask: how do we make them better? So can tall buildings aid the densification of large cities, reducing transport costs, enabling a greater population to live and work in the city without enlarging its boundary? Can their special qualities of height and high capital investment make substantial power generation more practical? Are we more inspired by 21st C cities like Hong Kong and Singapore, or by urban museums of 20th C buildings like Chicago?
Three of our students attending the CTBUH Annual Congress in
Shanghai Sept 2012, received 4th prize in international student competition
Do architects have to be obsessed with the idea of 'iconic'? Is there a place for tall buildings which do a great job, ration out precious land more efficiently, maintain social networks and support the economy, but don't all have to shout? Can they be built with more sustainably audited building structure, materials and methods? Can they be built to use 'Systems' efficiently - where renewable systems will save energy, and avoid older systems such as air conditioning which vastly consume energy? Can we take advantage of the grouping together of apartments to get near to a Passivhaus standard? Can we create conditions for lively urban social living at high density in high buildings?
Students winning the annual Canary Wharf PLC prize, June 2012
The course ensures that students consider the most appropriate urbanistic and architectural design concepts, materials and technologies. We believe that future tall buildings should be low-carbon, bioclimatic, socially and economically sustainable - we are exploring advanced ideas of urban and social living, smart structures and systems, vertical landscaping, construction, and bioclimatic design for super-tall skyscrapers.

First Prize winners of the CTBUH Student competition 2015

The taught modules of the course are run jointly with the Diploma programme and with other Masters courses in the School of Architecture. Students from any of these courses can take part in the Tall Building Studio. The Tall Building studio is very international - in the last three years, we have had students from India, China, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, UEA, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Australia, Cyprus, Greece, Palestine, Jordan, Angola, Turkey, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Singapore.

Distinguishing Features
Tall buildings have been taught at Nottingham since 2002, and this Masters course started in September 2009. It is the first such course in the world and forerunner of more to come. The course includes distinguished guests and practitioners from key practices to contribute to tutoring and lectures. Students' work is featured in conferences, articles and websites as examples of innovative thinking for the very complex ideas of sustainable tall buildings. Most of the content of this programme has been running for several years as design projects and lecture courses within our existing Masters courses, so it is tried and tested.

Course Director and studio leader: David Nicholson-Cole
Former Joint Course Director and Tall Building research:
                                                        Dr Philip Oldfield, now departed to Australia
Please enjoy a testimonial from one of our first graduates.
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Are you an international student interested in studying the MArch Sustainable Tall Buildings? If so, check out the scholarships that are available here: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/internationalstudents/scholarshipsfeesfinance/scholarships/index.aspx#international