Integrative Design for Radical Resource Efficiency

Efficient energy use is half the historic and at least half the prospective global decarbonization opportunity. However, its potential remains widely underestimated. Electrification and renewable supply can deliver final energy 2–3-fold more efficiently than now, but higher end-use efficiency can convert final energy into roughly fivefold more (and better) desired services by about 2060, or 3-fold by about 2040, by proven techniques applicable across the whole economy. This “integrative design” method optimizes buildings, vehicles, factories, equipment, and processes as whole systems for multiple benefits—not as isolated parts for single benefits—and thus makes the efficiency resource severalfold bigger than currently supposed, yet cheaper. 

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General information

A systematic course in integrative design for teachers and practitioners, delivered and refined 11 times at Stanford University, will be condensed into a unique, intensive, short course at Chalmers University of Technology, drawing on hundreds of practical cases from around the world. Presented by its developer, IVA (Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences) Foreign Member Prof. Amory Lovins, and supported by several experienced teachers and researchers at Chalmers, these lectures and small-group design exercises will vividly convey the technical content and develop the skills of integrative design to inform and inspire the exciting next stage of Swedish energy efficiency.

The course will be organized around different systems and scales allowing students to both learn how to apply integrative design approaches in their own discipline while at the same time sharing their knowledge and skills with others outside their discipline and learning from their colleagues.

The focus areas/modules of the course are planned to be as follows:
•    Buildings
•    Mobility
•    Industry
•    Electricity
•    Disruptive energy futures
•    Implementation at scale


Interdisciplinary collaboration is central to confronting climate change, to working towards innovation and a smarter built environment.  We need to create resilient environments and innovative systems not only capable of adapting to our changing climate but also capable of giving back more to the environment and society than what they cost. This course is predicated on the assumption that many, if not all, important issues in efficiency require a substantive understanding of diverse and multiple disciplines. The concepts, readings, and class assignments in the course will examine and cover theories, models, and ideas from a variety of sectors and real-world applications. Therefore, a diverse and multidisciplinary student group is necessary to bring their own unique perspectives, insights, and experiences to class assignments, discussions and share their knowledge with the rest of the class. The course also aims to bring together both students and professionals to work on real-world problems and apply integrative design solutions.

How to apply

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At Search for the course you are interested in by using the course code starting with TRA.
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Teacher (s): Amory Lovins, Prof. (Founding President of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Colorado, Canada, Holger Wallbaum, Prof. in Sustainable building, Chalmers, Tomas Kåberger, Research Professor at Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers, Shea Hagy, Artistic Teacher at Building Technology, tbd.)
Course dates: Study period 1-2
Credits: 7.5
Level: A
Course code: TRA430
Application deadline: April 30 – May 14, 2024, 20 August – The course opens for late applications