The drive towards sustainability in the built environment represents both a challenge and business opportunity for building design professionals. And it is something that simply cannot be ignored. Designers must develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to support the built environment’s move onto a low-carbon path.

Designing for Greater Efficiency (DfGE) is a course aimed at senior building design students and working professionals (i.e. architecture, structural and building services engineering), offered online and in a university setting. DfGE covers the fundamentals of energy and resource efficiency measures in building design from a technical and commercial perspective.

The course uses case studies and examples to teach students how to design for resource-efficiency and how to sell those designs in a commercial setting. DfGE is offered by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to encourage resource efficiency in the construction on sector.

Why take the DfGE course?

Sustainability is both a challenge and a business opportunity for building design professionals. Take this free online course and learn to support the built environment’s move onto a low-carbon path.


Critical thinking skills, quantitative skills, and design approaches.


Integrate green features across multiple disciplines and building types.


The impact of design strategies on energy, water, and embodied energy in materials using IFC’s EDGE building design software.


A compelling business case for sustainable design.


Design strategies and choices effectively with clients and other building stakeholders, including owners, investors, and other design team members.


Knowledge of green measures and their relative cost-benefit implications.

Course Outline

*Upon successful completion of the DfGE course, students will receive a certificate of completion.

Module 1

Green Buildings in Context

Module 2

Form, Skin & Climate

Module 3

Engineering Architecture: HVAC & Controls

Module 4

Lighting & Photovoltaics

Module 5

Water & Materials

Module 6

Making the Business Case

Module 7

*Final Design Exercise

How to Sign Up for the DfGE Course?

Option 1

Take the Online Course

DfGE online is a 16-hour course that can be taken at your own time and pace. Learners will have three (3) months to access course materials and to take the course. The final design project will be submitted online for evaluation by an assigned evaluator.

It is recommended that learners have a working knowledge of database software (i.e. MS Excel), architectural and engineering drawings, and basic mathematics. Information about the DfGE online course is available for download here.

If you have any questions, please contact

Option 2

Take the Course Through an Affiliated University/Institution

DfGE is also offered to students through affiliated universities as a 20-hour course. Students will have the opportunity to learn in a richer academic environment from professors trained in designing for resource efficiency. If you are affiliated with one of the following universities, we encourage you to explore taking the DfGE university course.

Country University
  • Universidad Pontificia Javeriana
  • Universidad La Salle
  • Kenyatta University
  • Jomo Kenyatta University Of Agriculture And Technology
  • Kumasi Technical University
  • Takoradi Technical University
  • Accra Technical University
  • Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • Brawijaya University
  • Institute of Technology Bandung
  • Institute of Technology Sepuluh Nopember
  • Trisakti University
  • Universitas Atma Jaya Yogyakarta
  • Universitas Pembangunan Jaya
  • Universitas Sebelas Maret
  • University of Diponegoro
  • University of Gadjah Mada
  • University of Indonesia
  • University of Tarumanagara
  • Widya Kartika University
  • Universitas Lambung Mangkurat
  • Universitas Parahyangan
  • Universitas Islam Negeri Alauddin Makassar
  • University of Sam Ratulangi
  • Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana
  • Multimedia Nusantara University
  • Universitas PGRI Semarang
  • Universitas Bandar Lampung
  • Aayojan School Of Architecture and Design
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Architecture
  • Dr. Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture for Women
  • Hitkarini college of Architecture and Town Planning
  • Marathwada Mitra Mandal’s College Of Architecture
  • Marathwada Mitra Mandal’s Institute of Environment & Design’s College of Architecture
  • MIT School of Architecture, MIT Art, Design and Technology University
  • Mysore School of Architecture
  • NITTE Institute of Architecture
  • Priyadarshini Institute of Architecture & Design Studies
  • SEED – APJ Abdul Kalam School Of Environmental Design
  • Satish Misal Educational Foundation’s BRICK School of Architecture
  • Sri Sri University
  • Sushant University
  • Symbiosis Skills and Professional University
  • Thiagarajar College of Engineering
  • Vivekanand Education Society’s College of Architecture
  • Universidad Católica Santa María de Arequipa
  • Universidad Científica del Sur
  • Polytechnic University of the Philippines
South Africa
  • University of Cape Town
  • Hanoi University of Architecture
  • University of Architecture Ho Chi Minh
  • Hanoi National University of Civil Engineering
  • Ho Chi Minh city University of Technology

What are students saying?

Iselowo Aminu Oluwatosin

My experience during the DfGE course, was a very enlightening and a fun one. It’s opened a whole new world of information on sustainability I always felt was out of reach or just beyond my comprehensive grasp.

Iselowo Aminu Oluwatosin

Registered Architect based in Abuja, Nigeria, Member of Nigerian Institute of Architecture (NIA)

Raymond Andrew Sih

The DfGE Course is a very effective way to get started with green buildings. Not only does it cover the basics of how to conserve resources in buildings, it also teaches how to use EDGE effectively to reduce energy, water and embodied energy use. I would recommend the DfGE Course to architecture and engineering students and design professionals.

Raymond Andrew Sih

UAP, LEED AP, Philippines

Anwal Virk

My biggest takeaway from the course has been the learnings through the case studies DfGE offers. The case studies and examples have helped shape the ideologies around not only designing for resource efficiency but also how to sell those designs in commercial settings.

Anwal Virk

Sustainability Consultant based in Delhi, India

João Gago dos Santos

The Designing for Greater Efficiency course, with the EDGE platform, met the objectives of my research regarding the calculation and possibility of predicting the true impacts that constructions, and projects, have on the environment.

João Gago dos Santos

PhD Candidate in Technology and Construction Management at the Faculty of Architecture of Lisbon, Portugal

Oyinleye Adebowale

My learning experience in the DfGE course was quite exciting and at the same time it was hands-on training that put you through the practical application of what the course content tried to achieve. The highlight for me was the final assignment which presents a real life scenario, testing your application of the processes and main concepts of EDGE.

Oyinleye Adebowale

LEED AP, Project Associates based in Abuja, Nigeria

Dr. Blaise Mempouo

I am happy to have taken and completed the Designing for Greater Efficiency (DfGE) course. The videos are highly informative and makes learning very easy. The readings and other resources offered compliment the lesson and the learning. I would really recommend this course for budding Architects and Civil Engineers.

Dr. Blaise Mempouo

Mechanical Engineer and Smart Green Building Specialist based in the United Kingdom

Sujesh Patel

The Designing for Greater Efficiency Course helped me understand how to use the Edge App and measure the impact sustainable strategies adopted during the design process. The app is simple to use and the data generated is easy to understand and consume. The online course was flexible and allowed me to learn at my own pace and help balance my work schedule.

Sujesh Patel

TRIAD Architects Ltd., Nairobi, Kenya

Vien Tai Phat

The Designing for Greater Efficiency course is a quick, yet intuitive, complete and effective approach for students to learn, supplement the basic knowledge of optimizing energy by design, towards green building design meeting EDGE standards

Vien Tai Phat

Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Vietnam

Take the Designing for Greater Efficiency course today.

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