Course Description:

This course introduces students to the principles and concepts of sustainability and provides the context for design decisions for the twenty-first century.  Students will develop an understanding of why current and future makers of the built environment must think differently than in the past and the reasons for both historical and current concerns about resource limitations.  Class discussions will explore differing interpretations of the concept of sustainability and the broad range of factors contributing to a sustainable society, including, health, productivity, and culture.

Educational Objectives:

  • Understanding of the various principles and concepts of sustainability regarding the built environment, especially as it applies to interior environments.
  • Understanding of environmental issues and their relationship to the ecology, various ecosystems and the biosphere.
  • Understanding the principles of the science of designing sustainably (ie. Biomimicry, Cradle to Cradle design).
  • Understanding of scientific methodologies used to monitor natural resources such as the ecological feedback loop and the ecological footprint.
  • Identify the initial design issues, such as solar orientation, passive strategies, and internal space planning that impact interior environments.
  • Identify renewable energy resources (such as wind, sunlight, water, geothermal) and other finite resources (such as minerals, coal, petroleum, trees) and sustainable ways to tap into these resources.
  • Understanding of regional design decisions that are informed by the cultural, economic factors and material considerations.
  • Understanding of the factors that contribute to indoor environmental quality.

Professor:  Roxanne Ryce-Paul, LEED AP

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