Principles of Sustainable Design


In this open online course, 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.

We will set the stage by inspecting the relationship of resources and their increasing demand.  We will study the motivations, and how to resolve the duality between self-interest and altruism.  We will employ new methods of gauging 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.

A second course, beginning in May, will use the foundational knowledge of the principles of sustainability to learn methodologies of sustainable design in the built environment.  We will cover everything from Rating Systems and Standards and Integrated Design Behaviors, to sustainability on the scale of entire cities, and how to approach a sustainable, resilient future. 

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