The Impact of Wood Use on North American Forests (Print Course)

As green building has evolved beyond its initial emphasis on energy efficiency, greater attention has been given to the choice of structural materials and the degree to which they influence a building’s environmental footprint. Increasingly, wood from sustainably managed forests is viewed as a responsible choice. Drawing from a wide range of research publications, this course will examine the current state of North American forests, modern forest practices, and criteria for sustainability, and consider some of the challenges that could profoundly impact the future of the forest resource.

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Net Zero Energy Building Design in High Density Urban Cities

Net Zero Energy solutions suitable for urban settings will be increasingly important but there are unique policy and technical challenges to implementing these solutions in large urban buildings in hot and humid climate. Addressing these concerns could open up the possibility of achieving Positive Energy Low Rise, Zero Energy Medium Rise and Super Low Energy High Rise Buildings in the near future.

How do we overcome limited site and roof spaces for renewable energy in urban cities? How do we drive passive design for free cooling in high density environment? How do we reduce the consumption level of plug loads leveraging off the IoT? How do we use the advanced modelling approach to create designs that can achieve Net Zero Energy and then manage the delivery process so that Net Zero Energy performance? How do we move from demonstration phase projects to successful solutions for all buildings?

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Uncovering a Building’s Heartbeat Sensormatically

While energy use is a key component in building management, it is important that resource use not overshadow a building's purpose: to provide an adequate (or even enhanced) space for humans or machines to operate. Managing this interdependency between comfort and energy is not easy, but it's essential for high performance spaces as changing occupant comfort demands can consume significant amounts of energy. While optimizing each in isolation is simpler, the results could lead to less than ideal outcomes.

As managers seek to optimize both energy use and comfort, well-placed sensors and data collection systems can provide objective, useful, and actionable information. Building energy meters separated by panel, circuit, or receptacle are useful in determining, where, when, and how energy is being used. Comfort can be divided into visual, thermal, acoustic, and air quality categories. Sensors are able to measure each category in order to determine which aspects of comfort might be insufficient. Ultimately, the sensor data can be analyzed to establish linkages and tradeoffs and can lead to solutions that optimize both factors. Four different projects are presented to demonstrate how energy and comfort can be balanced at a building, campus, and program level.

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Achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals via Architecture and Design (Print Course)

To help cities, urban planners, public institutions, and private entities ride the wave of global population growth and shifting market dynamics, and face the enormous challenges of sustainable growth and technology integration, the United Nations recently set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These goals are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by addressing the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. This course will introduce you to the 17 SDGs and dive deeper in the five SDGs that specifically affect the architecture and design industries.

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Cost-Justifying Green Buildings to Skeptics

Many are concerned about what might happen to the green building market when climate change denial is seeing a political resurgence in the US and UK. Yet there is a way to defend green buildings using a business and economics lens palatable even to the biggest green building skeptic. Long used in the world of large-cap infrastructure projects, "cost-benefit analysis" is the gold standard when it comes to weighing different design options for their Net Present Value, Life Cycle Cost, Return on Investment, etc.

Over the past year, two real estate industry leaders, Prologis and San Francisco International Airport, have recently taken that approach and improved upon it, using rigorous economic methodologies from academia and industry alike to also translate into dollar terms the non-financial value of their green building designs, including enhanced occupant health and productivity from improved IEQ and lighting, increased property value and reduced flood risk from green infrastructure, and improved community support from preserving local air and water quality.

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Collaborating for Sustainability in Leased Space

Energy efficiency and sustainability have multiple benefits for commercial building occupants. Now, many forward-thinking corporations are employing sustainability tactics and focusing real estate strategy to attract and retain top talent, minimize operating expenses, and drive occupant comfort, health, and productivity. New technologies, a rapidly developing business case, and increasing research are making it easier for more organizations, across sectors, to leverage sustainability to capitalize on the same trends that are rapidly becoming the norm in top-of-the-market, class-A real estate. However, as tenants progress from site selection to occupancy, it becomes increasingly difficult to invest in sustainability. Tenants and landlords should collaborate early to maximize sustainability throughout the life of the tenant-landlord relationship.

In 2015, Congress passed the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act, which directed several federal agencies, including EPA and DOE to identify and employ appropriate strategies to incentivize and engage commercial landlords and tenants to collaborate towards energy efficiency. This panel will discuss the opportunities that legislation will create for tenants and corporate occupiers to leverage energy efficiency and sustainability to meet corporate social responsibility goals and earn public recognition for their success. Panelists will also introduce a variety of tools and resources that are currently available to the market.

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Specifying FSC Certified Wood for Sustainable Projects

As a designer, it is crucial to know where the wood you specify for projects comes from to ensure the wood is responsibly harvested. This course will help you to speak knowledgeably about FSC requirements and credits that can be earned for projects seeking green building certifications.

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Green, Complete and Smart: Build Green vs. Grey

Communities are turning to innovative stormwater management solutions to solve local and regional stormwater challenges. For example, in the nation’s capital, DC agencies recently modified a plan that predominately relied on grey infrastructure to instead partially replace the grey infrastructure with green infrastructure in targeted existing impervious areas. These green installations will serve to mitigate flooding and stormwater issues to the same capacity but with many more environmental and community benefits.

The panel will discuss stormwater challenges through several examples located throughout the country, and the impact of vegetated systems to manage stormwater in local and regional jurisdictions. One example that will be discussed is The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) proposed Green Street Demonstration Project in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington D.C. where the ASLA headquarters are based. The project seeks to serve as an example for such green, complete, and smart street design. The plan transforms an underperforming street corridor into a showpiece of both green infrastructure technologies and complete street approaches.

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Occupant Aware Buildings, or Building Aware Occupants?

As technology and intuitive interfaces enable occupants to become more aware about buildings, buildings are becoming more aware of them. Smart buildings leveraging big data collected from thousands of inexpensive sensors and the IoT, promises to improve convenience and comfort, all in a more sustainable manner. Is this a win-win?

High performance buildings with passive design strategies require engaged occupants. Training these occupants for hoped behavioral changes, is both an imperative and a challenge. Even if trained people forget or don't care, or the specific people occupying a building changes.

Does this mean ultimately your building may know more about you than you are comfortable with, even though you are more comfortable in your building? Is the next generation of high performance only possible at the expense of personal privacy? Can we count on this additional layer of systems complexity to be reliable, affordable, maintainable and secure?

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Designing Restrooms for Sustainable Operation (Print Course)

Designing restrooms for sustainable operation requires unique strategies beyond those typically associated with green building. This course does not discuss the details of LEED certification or environmentally responsible materials and related documentation. Instead, the focus of this course will be to educate architects and designers on operational approaches that encourage sustainable restroom project design.

Thoughtful product specification considers energy costs, battery usage, waste, and usage of consumables that in turn allow the architect or designer the opportunity to educate the client on the benefits and incentives that sustainable design creates for both building owners and occupants. While architects and building designers who specify sustainable design products must take into consideration the economical investment necessary from the client, specifying for sustainable operation allows a restroom to operate both sustainably and cost-effectively while retaining the architect’s aesthetic vision.

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