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Green Building and Sustainable Design Professional Concentration

The Green Building and Sustainable Design Professional Concentration addresses the trend of developing healthier communities by defining effective ways to utilize energy and promote water efficiency. The program combines elements from architecture, civil engineering, landscape architecture, environmental and land use planning, and construction management. Develop successful strategies for implementation of green building and sustainable design into site planning and design, building design and construction, and building management practices.

About the Program:

Gain practical knowledge that matters

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the processes of incorporating social, economic and environmental issues into the planning, design and construction.
  • Learn green and sustainable design techniques for both commercial and residential buildings.
  • Build your understanding of: site analysis, construction management, water resources, planning and landscape architecture.
  • Become better prepared to implement sustainable practices.

Designed for professionals like you

The program is designed for planners, architects, developers, contractors, landscape architects, interior designers and anyone interested in the implementation of sustainable building tools and strategies. It is also recommended for professionals moving into fields that require knowledge of green building or sustainable design, or anyone who recognizes the importance of green building and sustainable design. The program is self-paced and teaches participants how to integrate and apply sustainability best practices into their work. Professionals looking to take their studies and careers even further can take the 16-unit certificate program, Sustainability and the Built Environment.

Program Requirements:

The 10-unit Green Building and Sustainable Design Professional Concentration consists of five courses. 

Quarterly schedule of courses

Sustainable Planning Environmental Site Design and Development2.0O
Green Architecture2.0O
Sustainable Water Management and Landscape Design2.0O
Building Efficiencies: Low Carbon and Renewable Energies2.0O
LEED Building Certification2.0OO
F=Fall W=Winter SP=Spring SU=Summer; Schedules subject to change.
O = Online C = Classroom OC = Online and Classroom H = Hybrid

Required Courses

2.0 quarter units academic credit X421.2

Learn about fundamental planning issues and sustainability processes as they apply to community planning and design situations. Identify key challenges in incorporating sustainability into planning strategies, policies and site design. Examine technical and environmental factors including different planning models in policy, planning and design. Acquire techniques for site assessment to better plan for and incorporate sustainable practices into policy and design. Explore ways that policies, codes and standards can be modified to encourage sustainable planning and design practices.

Topics include:

  • Land use planning
  • Smart growth and urban design
  • Transportation policy and design
  • Environmental site design
  • Site assessment and selection
  • Brownfield redevelopment strategies
  • Infill development

Each topic will be taught with an eye toward integrating sustainable practices into planning and site scale.

This course is not currently scheduled.
2.0 quarter units academic credit X421.4

The average American house is 2,400 square-feet and uses more than 13,000 board-feet of lumber, 6,000 square-feet of sheathing and 2,000 square-feet of flooring—putting a strain on our natural resources. Rising energy costs, a shortage of building materials, growing consumer demand and environmental awareness are forcing architects, designers and building professionals to seek better and more efficient ways to design our buildings. 

This course explores the issues, challenges and opportunities associated with green building and sustainable design. Examine innovative residential, commercial, industrial, mixed-use, and low- and high-density specialty buildings. Evaluate the micro- and macro-economic issues associated with green buildings.

Focus on the holistic and geometric aspects of green design, and discuss how comprehensive building design can respond to the needs of occupants and environmental circumstances. Look at specific building technologies and how to use them. Examine thermal, water and lighting control systems.

This course is not currently scheduled.
2.0 quarter units academic credit X421.3

Learn about the fundamentals of water resources management from a sustainable perspective and how to incorporate a sustainable water resources approach into various types of urban development and infrastructure at the policy, planning and design levels.

Topics include:

  • Methods for assessing long term water use and demand - Water conservation practices
  • Sustainable landscape design
  • Basics of water quality and waste water treatment in urban areas
  • Use of recycled and grey water
  • Rain water harvest and innovative approaches to LID-style storm water management

Apply sustainability principles to natural or impacted urban stream and wetland sites, and gain a fundamental understanding of how to implement sustainable water resource practices in varied community design situations.

This course is not currently scheduled.
2.0 quarter units academic credit X421.17

Examine the energy issue from the macro perspective of the built environment to the micro approach of how heat flows throughout a building. Using the "whole building" perspective, discover some of the natural and mechanical means of heating, cooling and ventilation for improved indoor air quality and cost savings. The breakdown of how energy is used in its final stage is a critical component of a successful sustainable environment. Examine how conservation and the effectiveness of renewable energy sources, such as solar and solar thermal power, biomass, wind power, hydroelectric and photovoltaic are key elements to achieving energy efficiency. Learn to analyze energy use as an effective strategy to promote energy conservation in the built environment, including solar panels, exterior shades, lighting a space, painting a roof white, and the issues and technology of bio fuels. 

This course is not currently scheduled.
2.0 quarter units academic credit X421.8
Gain an in-depth understanding of the LEED Building, Design and Construction (BD&C) rating systems for new construction projects, schools, and core and shell projects as well as the process to document and obtain certification. Learn how to register, document and certify LEED BD&C projects. Review case studies, local project examples and take an optional tour of a LEED-certified building. This course will help prepare you to take LEED accreditation exams and better understand how to achieve LEED certification for buildings.
This course is not currently scheduled.

Declare Your Candidacy Now

Declare your candidacy for the Green Building and Sustainable Design Professional Concentration to receive these benefits:

  • Lock in the program requirements (which are otherwise subject to change).
  • Track your progress in the program in your student account.
  • Work with a program adviser to answer your questions and help you navigate through the program.

There is no cost to declare.

Apply Now