E-Learning Course: Building Solar Lights

May 1, 2017 — June 30, 2017

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About This Course

Architects, engineers and other professionals must take action in the development of sustainable cost effective ways to help under developed areas live better. Designers have the opportunity to propose innovative solar light solutions that can provide light in times of darkness, helping people all over the world live in better conditions. We need to take action now.

The goal of this online course is to generate designs for cost-effective sustainable solar lights for people living in underdeveloped areas where there is no affordable solution to get lights. The participants in this course will design affordable and easy to build lights, which will be implemented by Liter of Light and partnering organizations. They will work in teams of architects, planners, engineers, and social workers from all over the world. After the course, a selection of the projects will be placed the Build Academy website www.buildacademy.com, so anyone can download and use them.

Course Structure

1. Welcome and Introdcution to the Course.

2. Precedent Studies.

3. Light Design Assignment .

4. Solar & Energy Saving Design Assignment.

5. Building Techniques and Midterm follow-up.

6. Final Design & Submission Guidelines.

7. Final Review Guidelines .

Learning Objectives

Course participants will learn about the design of solar lights and how it can be implemented both in rural and urban settings. They will improve their design and collaboration skills, working with a global community of professionals from all over the world. They will be learning from each other, and they will present their work publicly each week and receive feedback from the professors and fellow students. The work will be done in teams, which will work together on developing integral projects that include aspects of architectural design, structural engineering, building technology, social space, community development, economic feasibility, sustainability and resilience.


The involvement in the course is flexible. For architects, this is meant to be an intensive design studio course, so participants are expected to dedicate 10-20 hours a week. For others, who act as advisors and collaborators, it could take 5-10 hours of work weekly.


The course includes multiple-choice questions, design assignments and a group project.

Certification and Credits

Course participants receive a certificate from Build Academy after successful completion of the course. The course will award 20 CEU credits by the American Institute of Architects CES.


The course work will be collaboration between people from many different backgrounds: design, engineering, economics, healthcare, social studies. They will join their knowledge, skills and energy to design solutions that are resilient, feasible, sustainable, buildable, etc. For designers, previous architectural experience is highly recommended. We suggest the course to professionals, graduate students, and last year architectural students. For non-designers, we are looking for social workers, economists, policy makes, developers, business people who can integrate their knowledge and skills with the work of the designers.

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