The process of designing, developing, and inhabiting the built environment has a profound influence on a community’s economy, environment, and quality of life. In the United States, buildings account for approximately 36 percent of total energy consumption, 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 13 percent of water use and approximately 170 million tons per year of construction and demolition (C&D) debris. Buildings also contain indoor air that can be 100 times more polluted than outside air. Additionally, unsustainable building practices can have unintended social and economic consequences including sprawl, degraded local air quality, loss of farmland and open space, and health impacts due to decreased physical activity and access to healthy food. Sustainable design for the built environment challenges local officials, planners, developers, and architects to examine the connections between their buildings, the environment, and their communities. This course addresses ways to integrate local ecology into design and construction, to reduce natural resource impacts, minimize non-renewable energy consumption, use environmentally preferable products, protect and conserve water resources, enhance indoor environmental quality, and improve operation and maintenance practices.
Learning Units: 7.0 LU/HSW (7 hours)
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