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Digital Analysis & Energy Retrofit / Anailís Dhigiteach agus Iarfheistiú Fuinnimh

DT774 PT


As EU and domestic directives and regulations demand higher levels of energy performance, and with the failure of existing building stock to meet even current building regulation standards, the retrofitting of existing building stock will emerge as perhaps the most significant market for the construction industry in the coming years. 

With the majority of architects, architectural technologists, engineers and building surveyors having completed their education with limited coverage of the theory and practice of energy performance and sustainability, and with limited training in computer modelling and predictive digital analysis, a need exists for an applied programme of learning which addresses this knowledge and skills deficit. 

The DT774 Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Analysis & Energy Retrofit (PGCert DAER) programme is a 1 year part time programme, delivered over two semesters, and which has been designed to enable professionally qualified architects, architectural technologists, engineers and building surveyors to develop skills centred on digital analysis, energy performance and retrofitting of multi-unit residential buildings using a variety of digital modelling and environmental design software applications. 

The PGCert DAER programme is set at Level 9 in the National Framework of Qualifications. Content is focused on the development of knowledge and skills in energy + thermal performance assessment and energy use + fabric heat loss. Real life projects are used to explore performance ranges from Part L compliance to nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB). Projects explore environmental design principles and impacts, energy systems and renewable energy, and retrofit technologies. There is also a focus on hygrothermal modelling to assess the effects of interstitial condensation on building fabric and energy performance. 

The PGCert DAER programme comprises the first element of a three-part nested MSc in Energy Retrofit Technology programme. 

On successful completion of the PG Cert (DAER) programme the student will be able to:

  • Construct a complex data-rich digital model an existing multi-unit residential building of medium size using the medium of Building Information Modelling.
  • Analyse a digital building model using a variety of interoperable computer applications to simulate and predict environmental performance.
  • Critically analyse an existing building of medium size to determine under-performance and failure in terms of thermal performance and energy consumption.
  • Develop energy retrofit strategies to achieve performance requirements at macro and micro levels.
  • Develop technical design solutions which address underlying scientific principles, energy performance criteria and buildability with cognisance for cost implications, and which address energy-related legislative requirements.
  • Use a building information model to create a technical information package comprising working drawings at a variety of scales with related performance schedules.
  • Contribute to the development of a BIM model and engage collaboratively within in a design team using a BIM application.

Entry Requirements:

The PGCert DAER programme is open to the following categories of applicants:

Professionally qualified Architects.
Professionally qualified Building Surveyors.
Professionally qualified Engineers, with experience in building design.
Graduates of professionally-accredited Level 7 architectural technology programmes with the requisite practice experience to qualify for professional membership of a professional body for architectural technologists and either of a Level 8 BSc (Hons) qualification in architectural technology or a Level 9 academic qualification in a related discipline.
Graduates of professionally-accredited Level 7 architectural technology programmes who are or have been members of a recognised professional body for architectural technologists, subject to demonstration of 7 years accredited and relevant practice experience at a senior level.
Candidates with an equivalent qualification and experience, subject to interview.

Career Opportunities

PGCert DAER graduates will be uniquely qualified to assess the energy performance of multi-unit residential building typologies measured against national performance metrics. 

They will be able to advise on insulation options assessed as safe in accordance with the best international standards and detail, specify and oversee the installation to ensure performance targets are met. Graduates will understand the dynamics of thermal, moisture and air movement through building fabric and design the optimal balance of all three to ensure the integrity of any retrofit solution proposed and protect the structural longevity of the building fabric. In short they will be leaders in the field of retrofit assessment and design. Their skills will be equally applicable to new build work where the principles of building fabric design are significantly more easily accommodated. 

With energy analysis and BIM skills building on and enhancing their construction industry experience, graduates will be ideally placed to secure employment in the area of energy retrofitting of the existing building stock – an emerging and expansive field of construction activity across the European Union, in response to the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, 2010. 

MRIAI and RIAI (Arch Tech) graduates will be eligible to apply for RIAI Sustainability Accreditation.

Programme Content

Semester 1:

BIM for Retrofit:

This module will introduce the learner to a building information modelling application, in this case Autodesk Revit. This application will be used to develop skills in creating a digital building model. The digital building model will be used to supplement and illustrate digital analysis for energy performance options for retrofit building projects. The module will emphasise BIM ‘consumption’ moreso than BIM ‘generation’. Learners will be challenged to engage with pre developed BIM modules of existing buildings, modifying and developing the BIM model to add retrofit performance characteristics and data. 

Energy Analysis for Retrofit:

The Energy Analysis for Retrofit module provides learners with an understanding of key issues and principles involved in the energy retrofit of existing buildings in Ireland, in a residential building context. The module examines energy retrofit strategies and analysis tools in a domestic context, with an emphasis on thermal energy and a focus on limitation of heat loss via a building form, layout, orientation, envelope and fabric. 

Semester 2:

Retrofit Technology Project: Residential:

The project focus of the Semester 2 Retrofit Technology Project: Residential module is on domestic multi-unit residential housing characterized by receiving contexts with steady state performance design parameters, and with an emphasis on the Irish technical design and legislative context. 

The Retrofit Technology Project: Residential module provides for the further development and application of Semester 1 ‘BIM for Retrofit’ and ‘Energy Analysis for Retrofit’ module learning to the development of energy performance strategies at macro and micro levels for a retrofit technology project, and for a consideration of life cycle cost and value management. 


The programme is assessed through a range of techniques including: project work; group work, assignments, and presentations.


For Further Information

Cormac Allen - Assistant Head of School
Dublin School of Architecture
College of Engineering & Built Environment
Dublin Institute of Technology, Bolton Street, Dublin 1

Fees and Funding

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the duration of the programme?

The PGCert DAER programme runs on a part-time basis over 1 year. 

On what days does the programme run?

The PGCert DAER programme has run 10.00-17.30 each Friday over 12 contact weeks in each of two 15-week semesters. The single day operation of the programme is designed to facilitate students travelling from outside the Dublin area. This is currently under review. 

What is the time commitment required for the programme?

The 1 year part time PGCert DAER programme is structured on the basis of 30 ECTS credits or a minimum of 600 learning hours. Students should allow for a minimum of 20 learning hours per week over 2 x 15-week semesters. This comprises 7 hours in college each Friday and at least 13 hours self-directed learning over 12 weeks in each semester, and 20 hours self-directed learning per week for the remaining 3 weeks. 

How often does the programme run, and when does the next programme begin?

The programme runs annually commencing in September. 

How much does it cost?

EU Fees *

*The fees outlined for each course are provisional and are subject to change

For information on part time postgraduate fees please click here.