Over the past decade, the architectural, construction and engineering (AEC) sector has grappled with unprecedented technological and socioeconomic changes along with an unprecedented confluence of challenges to the health of our communities, our cities and our planet. Climate change is accelerating—the 10 years leading up to 2020 was the warmest decade on record. Buildings and their construction account for 39% of global carbon dioxide emissions.
At the same time, the built environment is growing at a record pace in the US. It is estimated that 2.5 million new housing units are needed to make up for the nation’s housing shortage, a trend that has not abated in the face of a global pandemic. Technological gains within the built environment are making zero-carbon construction attainable, dramatic energy savings achievable and taller mass timber construction possible. Industry research, along with bold demonstration projects, is expanding the sector’s understanding of carbon sequestration, life cycle assessment (LCA), Passive House principles, and biophilic and health-centered design. In this course you’ll learn from design teams who are embracing these strategies and delivering solutions that begin to address some of the most pressing global challenges of our times.
- Understand and describe current and emerging social, economic and technological trends impacting the built environment, urbanism and the business of architecture.
- Explain how community-centered participatory design and the strategic use of greenspaces in urban environments can benefit the health of individuals, communities and cities.
- Understand the built environment’s significant contribution to carbon emissions, and learn how designers are using lifecycle analysis to measure a building material’s impact on the carbon footprint of a project.
- Identify key factors contributing to the cost of mixed-use and multi-family developments, along with planning and design strategies that can help make these projects more affordable.