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AL1301 Natural Resources Theory 7.5 credits

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For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 26 Aug 2024 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus AL1301 (Autumn 2020–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Material and energy sources on Earth, and the natural resource term within the context of thermodynamics. Flows of matter and water in a circular economy where e g waterborne contaminants or resources, for example, phosphorus and nitrogen. Natural cycles of elements and anthropogenic disturbances in soil, water and atmosphere. The causes of the climate change and countermeasures to reduce greenhouse gases. Adaptation of building design in relation to a changed climate. Basic calculations of the consequences of climate change for society, mainly regulation of water and construction. Increased use of renewable energy resources in the society. Strategic and technical natural resource planning and introduction of technologies for evaluation and studies of material flows with examples from the construction field. Sustainability analysis of different types of exploitations in loose earth layers, rock and water in relation to environmental quality goals. Imitation of natural cycles for recycling of materials in anthropogenic flows. Risks with reuse and material recovery from waste. The diversity and the complexity of the natural resource problems presented by the students.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • have knowledge of various types of natural resources and explain how the society influences these

  • explain the biogeochemical cycles including the water cycle and assess how this knowledge can be utilised to create technical solutions in an environmentally sustainable society

  • perform calculations of materials and energy flow both within the anthropogenic and natural systems

  • use scientific criteria to evaluate ecological status at soil and water resources in relation to their use in society

  • apply basic thermodynamic principles and carry out simple energy calculations regarding renewable energy resources

  • draw independent conclusions about possible results following implementation of Swedish environmental objectives and the global sustainability goals

  • To summarise, orally and in writing, a relevant case study, and design or evaluate a solution.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

AI1527 Introduction to the Planning and Building Process 13,5 hp of which at least 6hp completed

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • PRO1 - Project, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 4.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • ÖVN1 - Exercises and Field Exercise, 2.5 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study


Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

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