SUST 390: Making Buildings Green (Course Preview)

Next spring the SUST program will offer a special topics course entitled Making Buildings Green (SUST 390). Taught by Suhail Barot, Visiting Instructor in SUST, the course will meet at the Chicago Campus on Tuesdays from 11am to 1:30pm.

Course Overview

Green buildings are where architecture and design meet sustainability and energy conservation. The building sector is one of the largest contributors to impacts upon the environment – especially in urban areas such as Chicago. Nationally, buildings are responsible for almost 40% of greenhouse gas emissions and 75% of electricity use. They also have impacts on water use, waste footprints, and much more. At the same time, buildings offer some of the most promising opportunities for environmental improvement: in ways that can be win-win for both the planet and the pocketbook.

In this class, students will learn how buildings fit into the larger set of energy and sustainability issues; how building systems operate and ways to improve them; and how to calculate energy costs and paybacks. They also will investigate how standards and incentives can support green building implementation and organizational sustainability.

Students will learn how to use energy modeling software (eQuest) as well as collaborate on completing a building energy assessment / model and preparing a formal report — two important skills for sustainability professionals. Field trips will include visits to energy infrastructure / green building implementations.

Who Should Take this Class

Students interested in a career involving energy auditing, sustainability within organizations, local government and planning, green design and so on.

RU’s Wabash Building (constructed 2012), a LEED-gold structure

Students should preferably have completed one class in sustainability studies, architecture, planning or environmental science and be willing to explore issues quantitatively. Computer literacy in a windows environment is assumed. This class is open to seniors, juniors and advanced sophomores. Pre-requisite: English 102.

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