Operating Net Zero Buildings

Southwark Campus

Mode: Full-time; Block release; Day release

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Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0207 815 7500

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The UK is facing a massive Net Zero transition across its entire economy, and the built environment is no exception. As 2050 fast approaches, with pressure from all sides to meet ambitious but legally binding net zero targets, the sector is transforming the way we not only procure, design and construct buildings, but also how we operate and maintain them over their entire lifetime.

As such, the entire workforce is in urgent need of upskilling to ensure every individual is fully equipped to address the pressing and complex challenges ahead.

This new course, one of four launched by LSBU, presents an innovative model for teaching the skills and knowledge necessary to operate buildings to meet increasingly stringent net zero targets.

LSBU is proud to have created a ground-breaking, pilot programme with the support of the Office for Students (OFS) new Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE) scheme – meaning students on this short, effective degree level course can apply for a student loan to cover fees, irrespective of past loans and learning pathways.

Course content and structure has been developed in close partnership with leading employers in the construction sector, including Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA), Climate Framework, London Energy, Ashden, Clarion Housing Group, Lambeth Council and Southwark Council – ensuring highly relevant, actionable skills that can be acquired alongside a professional career and rapidly applied within the workplace.

Operating Net Zero Buildings, one of four short courses on offer, was developed in response to the growing demand for organisations to mitigate operational carbon and demonstrate compliance with increasingly stringent targets. The course is aimed at facilities and maintenance managers with operational knowledge of buildings, but less formal knowledge of building performance. It teaches facilities managers how to operate buildings to deliver optimal comfort and cost and operation efficiency, and deliver best operational practices without reliance on fossil fuels, through an understanding of good control design and data management.

During the immersive, one-semester course you will study the role of the facilities manager, the role of the building, and the social/legal context of its owner/operators’ Net Zero obligations. You’ll gain a practical understanding of all aspects of performance optimisation; the controls and processes necessary for the efficient operation of buildings; the role of energy management systems and data to manage energy, forecast carbon savings and monitor performance; and the tools for financial analysis and reporting.

The course is delivered through lectures, workshops and private study, and involves individual and group projects, site visits, industry-leading guest speakers, and hands-on learning with real-life application.

The course will run concurrently with the three other Net Zero short courses in this programme, ensuring students benefit from insights from other roles within the built environment that impact on their own decision-making and ways of working.

The other courses are:

  • Procuring Net Zero Buildings
  • Designing Net Zero Buildings
  • Leadership and Management for Net Zero Buildings
Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
1 semester
Start Date
Southwark Campus


  • Energy Management and Controls (Level 6)
    This module examines the controls and processes that are necessary for the efficient and effective operation of buildings and their engineering services. It provides an understanding of control elements and building energy management systems, and the way that information from these systems can be used to manage energy. The module also presents tools for financial
  • Operation for Zero Carbon Building Performance (Level 6)
    This module examines how energy and carbon management systems should be set up and maintained, and includes an enhanced understanding of data collection (meters, sensors, protocols), data analytics, and the regulatory, legal and contractual requirements for effective zero carbon operations.

    - 100% Coursework
    - Feedback will normally be available to students 15 working days after the submission of an assignment.
    -  Assignments should be submitted online.

Course commitment

The course runs over 1 semester (January to May 2023) and has the following study commitments:

Onsite Lectures/site visits: 44

Online tutorials: 8

Private study: 148

Total learning hours: 200

Students will be on campus for two full weeks (23-27 January and 13-17 March) and two two-day sessions (23-24 February and 27-28 April).

Online study

Each module includes two half-day online tutorials (8 February, 8 March, 29 March, 10 May).

For each hour of contact tuition the student is recommended to commit to three hours of self-study (including completion of coursework)


The qualification will enhance prospects for those with roles and careers in the built environment in the UK and internationally, in particular in roles involving the operation of buildings that are designed to meet, or are adapting to meet Net Zero targets. Based on feedback from the industry, Net Zero skills are already in high demand as building owners increasingly view their bricks and mortar as assets and seek to reduce carbon consumption, running costs and reputational risk ahead of regulatory requirements. The skills enabled by this qualification will only increase in demand as energy costs rise, and Governments globally push to make Net Zero standards mandatory.

Teaching and learning

Entry requirements

  • A Level BBC or;
  • BTEC National Diploma DDM or;
  • Access to Engineering qualifications with 15 Distinctions and 30 Merits or;
  • Equivalent level 3 qualifications worth 128 UCAS points
  • Level 3 qualifications must include Maths and Physics
  • Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).
  • We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.

Mature students who do not possess any of the above formal qualifications but can demonstrate working experience which includes significant study or application of mathematical skills appropriate to level III (i.e. ‘A’ Level) or similar, may be allowed to join the course at the course director’s discretion.

AP(E)L {Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning}

Applicants may use their experience (in work and life) to demonstrate:

  • They have the necessary skills and knowledge for entry to the course;
  • They have met the of the learning outcomes of one or more of the course modules and can claim credits without participating in those modules;
  • Examples of APEL being a portfolio of prior written work;
  • References

How to apply

Home applicants

Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
1 semester
Start date
Application code
Application method

Fees and funding

Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.


Operating Net Zero Buildings (PT) - Year 1 PT Southwark JAN (Accelerated Intake)

The fee shown is for entry 2022/23
UK fee: £3080International fee: £5133.33
AOS/LSBU code: 5824Session code: 1PS01

As an Office for Students (OFS) trial, this course qualifies for the new Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE) – meaning students can apply for a student loan to cover fees, irrespective of past loans and learning pathways.

The individual fee for this course is shown above. For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 391 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 775 KB).

We have a range of PhD Scholarships available in partnership with businesses and organisations; read notices of PhD studentships.

Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0207 815 7500

Order a prospectus

Live Chat

Any questions? Use the green bubble on the bottom right hand corner to start a live chat with us

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