Free Online Course Offerings


In these open online courses, you will learn at your own convenience through online high-quality HD videos, narrated PowerPoint presentations, text-based learning modules with interactive quizzes and faculty moderated and peer-to-peer online discussions.

Each course is designed to be taken independently, or as part of a comprehensive two-part sustainability learning experience.

PART I: Principles of Sustainable Design:

We will set the stage by inspecting the relationship of resources and their increasing demand. We will study the motivations behind human action, and how to resolve the duality between self-interest and altruism. We will employ new methods of assessing sustainable practices that allow us to transition from superficial "greening" to authentic sustainability, and apply these methods to various forms of energy systems available today, from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

Throughout this course we will search for the answers to the following questions:

  • What are the consequences of unsustainable practices, and what factors effect change?
  • How do we measure genuine sustainability?
  • What role do different energy sources serve, and what are their benefits and drawbacks?

Take a look at the syllabus.

PART II: Practices for Sustainable Design:

After a brief review of the context and principles necessary to put sustainable design into practice, students explore a range of project rating systems and Integrated Project Delivery. Students will learn about collaborative design practices as a means to achieve ambitious sustainable design projects in a tough economic context, and study sustainable practices through the concepts of biophilia, biomimicry and more.

Throughout this course we will search for the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the rationale, organization and specifics of LEED®, Passivhaus, Living Building Challenge and other rating systems?
  • What knowledge and techniques are needed to build and operate highly functioning green buildings, and how can we apply this to green cities including eco-districts, eco-villages and more?
  • How is the future of sustainable design practice approached from an economic standpoint?

Take a look at the syllabus.

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