Energy Efficiency in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Industry Micro-Credential

Price: $2,000.00


**The certificate is now open for registration.

The construction and operation of buildings accounts for almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Creating energy efficient buildings is the easiest, fastest, and least expensive means of reducing those emissions.

To this end, PowerED™ and the RAIC, Centre for Architecture in AU’s Faculty of Science and Technology have created an innovative, online and on-demand micro-credential for Energy Efficiency in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Industry.

As the name implies, this certificate is designed for architects, engineers, contractors and trades people. Powered by Artificial Intelligence, you will play the role of an architect, engineer, contractor and/or facilities manager as you navigate through the real-world problems of making a green building. You will do this while exploring an interactive, simulated building specifically developed to illustrate the principles of energy-efficient and inclusive design.

You will also develop critical soft skills such as team building, ethics, inclusion, and conflict resolution that are essential to creating and operating a building that is truly sustainable. Because construction projects are so expensive, by sharing common mistakes and how to avoid them, this micro-credential has the potential to save the AEC Industry millions of dollars every year and significantly reduce the carbon footprint.

Designed in consultation with industry leaders, this micro-credential consists of four courses. Each course features multimedia experiences, case studies, gamification, competency assessment and downloadable materials that can be accessed from any online device. Courses are delivered asynchronously providing the ultimate flexibility for learners.

Courses can be taken separately but take advantage of preferred pricing by registering for all four courses in the micro-credential.

Certificate Requirements

The four courses in the Energy Efficiency in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Industry Micro-Credential include:

Regenerative Design

The built environment is responsible for over 40% of carbon emissions globally as well as degradation of the natural environments and resource depletion. There needs to be a shift in the design of buildings that embraces climate, site, and culture for the wellbeing of our communities and the health of our planet. This course explores the approach to regenerative design and the importance of integrated team working to achieve high performing buildings. The course also explores how the passive environmental design benefits of natural site and climate can be utilised to their fullest in the building design, as well as provide guidance on intelligent active building systems.

View Course Details

Materials and Methods

Energy efficiency in manufacturing materials and construction of buildings is an emerging area of focus in addressing climate stability. By 2050, as the demand for building stock increases, it is projected that nearly half of the carbon produced by the building industry will be due to the manufacturing, construction, and end-of-life phases of materials. Emerging materials, such as mass timber can play a vital role in reducing carbon emissions through lower energy requirements in the manufacturing and construction processes compared to materials such as concrete and steel. This course reviews the impact of materials on energy efficiency in the AEC industry by exploring the impact of embodied carbon and advancements in and utilization of mass timber. You will explore critical considerations in building design, review life cycle analysis and strategies for building a business case towards low carbon design.

View Course Details

The Regulatory Environment

The regulatory environment surrounding the design and construction of energy-efficient buildings is multilayered and complex. Globally, the UN sustainable development goals are set to be met by 2030, while local targets differ from province to province and city to city. This course reviews the different codes, standards and legislation that are related to energy-efficient buildings and green buildings. It helps you navigate through the critical parts of the National Energy Code for Buildings and goes through the main green building certification programs applied in Canada.

View Course Details

Facilities Management

Operations play a critical role in the energy efficiency of any building. Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) accounts for approximately 40% of a building's energy consumption. Even a well-designed building will consume considerably more energy if it is managed badly. This course is designed to help you understand how buildings operate; how to trouble shoot common problems; and even how to optimize performance. It also considers the very human dimension of comfort.

View Course Details


Credential Earned

You will earn a Letter of Completion for each course completed, plus a Certificate of Completion upon successful completion of all four courses.

How It Works

Certificate Acess
180 days

10-12 hours per course

Online, On-Demand



What You'll Learn

You will develop critical soft skills such as team building, ethics, inclusion, and conflict resolution that are essential to creating and operating a building that is truly sustainable. By sharing common mistakes and how to avoid them, this micro-credential has the potential to save the AEC Industry millions of dollars every year and significantly reduce the carbon footprint.

Who Will Benefit

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Contractors
  • Trades people

Featured Leaders

Dr. Douglas MacLeod, FRAIC

Dr. Douglas MacLeod, FRAIC

Over the last 30 years, Dr. Douglas MacLeod, FRAIC, has been creating visionary projects that have transformed the arts, architecture and education - from pioneering work in virtual reality at the Banff Centre to eduSourceCanada, the country’s largest e-learning initiative to date. A registered architect, he is currently the Chair of the Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University – an online program that has quickly grown to be one of the largest and most innovative in the world. MacLeod is also a contributing editor to Canadian Architect Magazine and the former Executive Director of the Canadian Design Research Network. He is also a former Associate with Barton Myers Associates, Los Angeles.

Trevor Butler, P.Eng C.Eng

Trevor Butler, P.Eng C.Eng

Trevor Butler is an Assistant Professor at the RAIC Centre for Architecture within the Faculty of Science and Technology at Athabasca University. He specializes in regenerative design and technology in relation to the built and natural environments. His recent achievements at AU have included curriculum development utilizing Artificial Intelligence in the Energy Efficiency micro-credential for regenerative design.

As part of his ongoing research, Trevor has published peer-reviewed papers at International Conferences related to passive cooling, infection control of airborne viruses and zero carbon buildings.

Veronica Madonna

Veronica Madonna, OAA, FRAIC, M.Arch., B.E.D.S., B.Arch.Sc

Veronica Madonna is a registered architect and Assistant Professor at the RAIC Centre for Architecture within the Faculty of Science and Technology at Athabasca University. She is an award-winning architect with nearly 20 years of professional experience leading innovative and sustainable building designs across Canada. Veronica is licensed with the Ontario Association of Architects and is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. She is a fellow of the WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering) Planet program and she is developing a LEAP (Leadership Equity Action Plan) project focusing on the advancement of equitable opportunities for women in STEM industries.

At the centre of her practice and research are considerations for regenerative design and communities, mass timber advancements in construction and equity-centred design practice and education. Veronica was the Principal Architect on two highly sustainable buildings design, The Arbour, a Ten-Storey, Mass Timber, Net-Zero Carbon building for George Brown College and the Honey Bee Research Centre. Both projects received international recognition for design excellence and sustainable innovations.



Dr. Henry Tsang is an award-winning architect and assistant professor in the RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University. His design, teaching and research work explores the intersections between sustainability, health, and culture in the built environment. His projects include the design of a new zero-carbon building for the Calgary Japanese Community Centre. His research is published globally, and he has also been invited to speak at major international conferences, including the United Nations, TEDx, the Bow Valley Sustainable Building Summit, as well as universities worldwide. He has also held a professorship at Keimyung University in South Korea, and the directorship of the Sustainable Architectural Technology program at Herzing College. Tsang has practiced professionally with design firms in Montreal and Tokyo before founding his practice Henry Tsang Architect in Calgary. He is the recipient of the 2020 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence, and two 2021 Construction Canada Emerging Leader Awards.

Certificate FAQs

Is this an instructor-led certificate?

The courses within this certificate are designed to be self-paced with all materials you need for successful completion contained within the learning platform. The certificate has been designed by subject matter experts and each course includes interviews with leading experts, aligned to the course outcomes. The certificate is an immersive experience that includes a mix of content including video introductions and video content, impactful readings, learning checks, and interactive elements – all which can be completed at your own pace.

How much time will I need to spend?

Each course will require 16-24 hours to complete. You will have 180 days access from the time of registration to complete all four courses in the certificate. After 90 days, the courses will be closed.

Do I have to be online at a certain time of day?

No, you do not have to be online at a specific time. You complete the coursework at the times and places that fits your schedule. Each course is designed for working professionals who are balancing their work, family and community commitments.

When do I start?

You can start your first course as soon as you register for the certificate! You will automatically be directed to the interactive learning environment.

How long will I have access to my courses?

You will have 180 days from the time of registration to complete the courses. After 180 days, the courses will be closed.

What will I receive after I complete all of my courses?

You will receive a digital certificate of completion that is downloadable and printable. Digital badges are also awarded for specific achievements throughout the certificate.

What is the refund policy?

No refunds will be issued for the certificate. Refunds may be considered under exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Please contact for more information.

Are there tests or quizzes involved?

There will be activities, assignments, and short quizzes within each course to ensure you understand the content. All quizzes are designed to be accessible and easy to complete by engaging in the content. Within each module, you will have the answers to each evaluation.

What are the computer requirements for this certificate?

You should have access to a Mac, PC, or tablet with an Internet connection, with Safari, Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Firefox as a browser. Here is a link that outlines browser support:

For virtual sessions:

  • Speakers/headphones
  • Web camera and microphone

Learners that want to use their smart phone to access the courses can also download the D2L Pulse App for free to access the course available on Google Play:

Or the Apple App Store:

Does this certificate have prerequisites?

This certificate does not have a required prerequisite.

Who do I contact if I need help?

You can contact for assistance with any questions you may have. We are here to help!

PowerED™ Advantage

Digital learning for maximum flexibility

On-demand enrolment

Content developed by faculty and industry experts

Start your PowerED™ Journey…

We have information to share with you!

Price: $2,000.00