Master in Advanced Ecological Building


The Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings is a 12-month immersive academic programme with an emphasis in using a practice-oriented approach to train professionals with advanced expertise in the design and construction of ecological buildings. The programme takes place in Valldaura Labs, in Barcelona, Spain. 

During the first six months in Barcelona students will embark in a series of intensive and cumulative modules and workshops that will tackle all the fields interrelated with the design and construction of advanced ecological buildings, including material, thermal and metabolic building systems. After developing the aforementioned skills students will collectively create the design concept, strategies, fabrication techniques and blueprints for an ecological building prototype which they will build during the last three months of the programme. 

Valldaura Campus


Current discourses on sustainability and design do not yet adequately frame questions of energy and ecology. Whether you consider how building design overlooks landscape and urbanisation interdependencies; or incomplete interpretations of the ecological processes that could otherwise better support building, urbanisation, and life today; or how the material choices in buildings are governed by stylistic abstract notions instead of something ecologically more powerful, the Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings aims for a more ambitious and comprehensive approach of energy and ecology for the built environment.

Following up the urban research carried out by IAAC in the last years in fields like Solar Housings, Eco neighbourhoods, Internet of Energy, Hydrogrid, Digital Fabrication, the Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings is oriented in training professionals in the design, prototyping, and fabrication of buildings as ecological and thermodynamic systems. This framework of thinking and operating couples both small and large-scale processes: from the material to the geographical scales. For instance, the design of urban wood buildings has far-reaching effects on forestry practices or global carbon cycles. How designers might better characterise the exchanges and feedback loops and potential retrofitting of matter and energy across these multiple spatial and temporal scales are central to the pedagogy of this Master. This approach is necessary for a more thermodynamically forceful and ecologically powerful design practice for the future.

The MAEB allows students to examine material and energy issues – broadly defined, from the material to the geographical – across disciplines and scales, taking full advantage of the unique location of Valldaura Self-Sufficient Labs, IAAC’s fabrication lab in the forest, its fabrication infrastructure and the potentials of its surrounding territory.

The curriculum of the programme is diverse: from short workshops with leading experts to module courses, regular seminars and lectures, and to a year-long project with an emphasis on real scale prototyping. The Master addresses the question of the design as a comprehensive, intellectual and applied project in which prototyping and fabrication processes are a central pedagogic component emphasising the role of the architect as a hands-on applied maker.

Each Master Candidate will develop technological and fabrication seminars, ecological and thermal analytical frameworks and real-scale prototypes to have a unique expertise in the development of ecological and thermodynamic buildings. The Master will also provide a unique opportunity to create a real size building prototype as the final Master project. From the material to the territory the Master in Ecological Buildings foresees the design, development, and implementation of a new wave of buildings, prototypes, technologies and design solutions of true ecological value that can be extended systematically to be part of the next urban future.

The Master programme is oriented to engineers, architects, artist, makers and designers, and graduates in any discipline related to the crafting of the built environment. The programme will be developed with the collaboration of companies and industry, leading experts from around the world with the goal of forming new professionals interested in leading the design of ecological buildings worldwide.

The programme will be lead by Vicente Guallart, former chief architect of the city of Barcelona which is one of the worlds best cities for architecture, constantly developing signature design and construction of advanced buildings and environments recognised worldwide. 


  1. Immersive Education: This Master offers a unique immersive education experience at Valldaura Labs. Sleeping, eating, socialising, studying, prototyping, designing, building happens all at its unique location.
  2. Learning by Doing: Students learn based on their own experience and hands-on building full-scale prototypes. This master is fundamentally hands-on with an emphasis on professional expertise. Every year of the Master program will build a 1:1 building prototype.
  3. Multidisciplinary Education: Students will have access to courses and workshops from all multiple disciplines around buildings.
  4. Connected Education: Students collaborate with other academic design centers and institutions which are developing similar projects.
  5. Recording Process: Each student registers and documents in a unique, open and online platform all the knowledge generated on the Master program.
  6. International community: This Master program is oriented towards students both from mature economies, such as Europe or North America, as well as emergent economies such as China, India or Latin America.


EDITION: 1st edition

DIRECTOR: Daniel Ibañez & Vicente Guallart

DEGREE: Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings


DURATION: 12 months – From September 2018 to August 2019

MODALITY:  Immersive and full time


LOCATION: Barcelona, Spain.


Non EU students: 19,250€ 

EU students 14,525€


Option 1: 350€/month  – Shared double room with bathroom

Option 2: 250€/month – Atic with shared rooms and bathrooms

ADMISSION: Architecture, Engineering, Design, Bachelor or higher degree from other related professions

*(pending accreditation)