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    Curriculum

    Sustainable Building Design & Construction Certificate

    To earn the certificate, students complete six courses in the program and maintain a cumlative B- average. The Sustainable Design Institute has a breadth of over thirty half-semester, graduate-level courses in sustainable design principles and practices. A bachelor's degree is required for enrollment in the certificate program. Students who do not have a bachelor's degree should contact the Professional and Continuing Education Department.

    • Certificate
    • All Classes

    Building Envelope

    It is the building enclosure where many sustainable design intentions find their physical expression. Here, as well, is where the majority of legal claims against designers find their expression. The building enclosure has three major assemblies-foundation, walls, and roof- each with as many as 10 (or more) components....   More

    Daylighting & the State of the Art Electric Lighting

    This course will examine the techniques and benefits of daylighting in terms of occupants' well being and productivity, potential improvements in energy efficiency, and its effects on building form. For daylighting, the relative advantages and disadvantages of toplighting versus sidelighting and the best approaches to the...   More

    Energy Modeling in Building Design

    With the development of increasingly sophisticated software, energy modeling has become an integral part of commercial & institutional building design. Making energy performance a manipulable element at the earliest stages of building design is essential to sustainable building design. This course will provide an overview...   More

    Environmental Systems I: HVAC

    Designed as a follow-up course to Energy and Air Quality Principles, this course covers environmental systems fundamentals, HVAC system types, ventilation requirements, demand-controlled and energy recovery ventilation, underfloor-air systems, air distribution, fuel choices, understanding energy efficiency, zero-energy...   More

    Getting the Green Building You Want

    The plans and specifications for your green building have been completed, a contract has been awarded and now you are ready to implement the documents. Are you ready for the reality that all the careful planning and foresight will require more finesse and oversight during construction? The current methods of construction...   More

    Global Perspectives On Sustainable Design

    It didn't all start with LEED. Efforts to reconcile the demands of the contemporary built environment with the demands of the natural world and finite resources have been going on around the world for at least the last fifty years -in some places they have been going on for millenia. For at least the last thirty years,...   More

    Green Practice: Energy & Air Quality

    The concept of an environmentally conscious building should take into account energy consumption, the quality of indoor air, and most importantly human comfort. Indigenous strategies that adapt to the rigors of the local climate and contemporary bioclimatic architecture are part of this introductory course to sustainable...   More

    Green Residential Remod & Renovation

    While designing new green homes has been the focus of many organizations and practitioners over the last twenty years, most people live in existing homes built before our current interest in efficient resource use and healthy indoor environments. These homes need to be addressed. This course will examine the options...   More

    Green Roofs/Green Walls

    Among the green elements which have come into use over the last twenty years to soften the impacts of buildings on the environment are green roofs. More recently this concept has been extended to vertical surfaces with the use of green walls, both interior and exterior. Both of these elements have potential and both come...   More

    Greening Existing Buildings

    The existing building stock is here and much of it is responsible for consuming energy, water and other resources at an unsustainable rate from both the environmental and the economic standpoints. Focusing on non-residential buildings, this course will examine the issues, techniques and processes that are involved in...   More

    Greening the City

    That cities have the potential to be the most sustainable form of human development is coming to be widely recognized, as is the fact that most cities have a long way to go to realize that potential. Progress is being made, however, in terms of improvements to infrastructure and the building stock, innovative...   More

    HIgh Performance Design & the LEED Rating System

    High performance design is changing the way buildings are built and the way design and construction professionals work. The US Green Building Council developed the LEED Rating System as a tool to promote and propagate high performance building design; LEED has become the dominant green building rating system in the US and...   More

    Learning From Sustainable Design Through History

    This course will explore the evolution of green practices in architecture as expressed in buildings over time. Sustainable building is not new to architecture. Our buildings have been sustainable over time, by connecting to nature, using local resources, using climate and geographical relationships. Each time period has...   More

    Life Cycle Assessment Of Building Materials

    This course will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the Life Cycle Assessment of building materials, from energy associated with the harvest and manufacture of building materials to how material pricing, historical supply, and socioeconomic factors contribute to the total value of an item. Building on...   More

    Marketing Sustainability

    This course offers an introduction to green building marketing. Students will be introduced to the current market for green buildings. Several methods for making the business case for building green will be examined. The course will introduce marketing concepts for professional service firms, including architects and...   More

    Materials, Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality

    This course gives students the tools they need to evaluate a material based on how it impacts the built and natural environment. Since people in western cultures tend to spend most of their time indoors, specific attention will be paid to Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ). Environmentally responsible materials selection...   More

    Residential Energy Modeling

    Over the past twenty years the development of residential energy modeling software has made it possible to evaluate the energy efficiency -or profligacy- of building designs from the earliest stages of design. Using the evaluative tools provided by the modeling software, designers are able include energy efficiency with...   More

    Site Design Landscaping & Site-Water Issues

    Structures are sustainably sited based on an assessment of site specific climatic and natural conditions. An understanding of the geologic, hydrologic, and ecosystem processes, as well as regional climate, and site-specific microclimates, are the foundations upon which sustainable planning and design are based. This course...   More

    Solar Energy: Design With the Sun

    The interaction of buildings and sunlight is rich and complex. This course will examine the many possibilities provided by the sun to power, light and heat our buildings. These possibilities are affected by geographic location, climate, building site, and building form, orientation, fenestration and thermal mass–all of...   More

    Sustainable Communities: Land Use, Transportation & Planning

    This course will examine how communities across the nation are grappling with such smart growth issues as affordable housing, sprawl, urban revitalization, economic development, transportation investments, and open space protection. These issues are also collectively referred to as sustainable development, growth...   More

    Sustainable Design & Building Information Modeling

    Buildings are the largest single resource consumer in the world. The United States consumes 25% of the world's energy and the US building industry accounting for 40% of those resources. In order to solve the problem of global warming, we need to look at the AEC industry and move towards a truly sustainable building...   More

    Sustainable Design & Preservation

    As the art and science of sensitively adapting historic buildings for continued and new uses, preservation is inherently a sustainable practice. Learn how old buildings were built with features that conserve energy and create a comfortable environment. Develop a framework for evaluating energy-saving options for...   More

    Sustainable Design as a Way of Thinking

    This course traces the history of the sustainable design movement then introduces its primary tenets using the LEED Rating System as the organizing structure. Readings in the course are drawn largely from Environmental Building News. Online discussions are designed to acquaint the students with the language, philosophy,...   More

    Sustainable Design in Practice

    Effective organization and design process are as essential to green design as technical knowledge. This course will address techniques for mobilizing support for sustainable building among clients, funding sources, sub-consultants and the project team. A variety of strategies will be discussed with regard to integrated...   More

    Sustainable Design of Healthcare Facilities

    Greening healthcare projects should be a no-brainer -what building type has occupants more deserving of a healthy space? Unfortunately, when people think of healthy spaces, hospitals are often among the last to come to mind. The intense resource requirements, code constraints, programmatic requirements and institutional...   More

    Sustainable Neighborhoods

    As appreciation grows of the importance of the sustainable built environment at the "greater-than-a-single-building" scale, much attention is now being given to greening cities and regions. Also important to this effort are the neighborhoods, those local communities where people live and work. Over the last few decades,...   More

    Sustainable Transportation

    In the pursuit of a model that meets needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future, sustainable transportation is inextricably linked to sustainable development. Starting from a context of land-use planning, this course will examine current transportation models and their impact on our environment,...   More

    Economics of Green Building

    From the start of the current green building movement, the issue has been surrounded by a combination of myths and supposition, based on estimates, projections and resistance to change. For the last ten years, however, it has been possible to test these assumptions by studying the actual costs and benefits of completed...   More

    Urgent & Hopeful Future of Sustainable Design

    A review of the "cutting edge" of sustainable design including the evolution of mindset, processes and tools required for a sustainable future. Active engagement with the processes and systems of the living world yields: an understanding of wise action, the development of an aesthetic of beauty born from a unity of mind...   More

    The Zero Energy Home: What, How and If

    Zero is simply a number, an absolute; yet it is neither positive nor negative. A Zero Energy Home is currently a goal and ever present in the media, but not yet accomplished at the level of our technical potential. We will explore the various definitions of Zero Energy and understand the implications of the term within...   More

    Intro: International Green Construction Code

    2012 marks the publication of the new International green Construction Code (IgCC) as part of the International Code Council's "family of codes". The IgCC provides a comprehensive and flexible regulatory approach to sustainability in new construction, site development, and renovations to existing buildings. This course...   More

    Multiple Urbanisms:Divergence or Synergy

    In recent years, numerous theories about sustainable community design and planning have emerged. New urbanism, landscape urbanism, ecological urbanism, sustainable urbanism are just a few to mention. Each one of them espouses new ideas and principles; some of them even issue manifestos. How different actually are these...   More