Sustainable design is a concept that is very important to me personally. Throughout my rather long history of architectural education, sustainability has been a top-of-mind concept for most of my designs. From passive thermal design to reduction of material usage in architectural design, sustainability is something that can and should be utilized in the design of an overall development as it influences good economics and good societal interaction with the environment.
In LDEV 671 (Sustainable Development), clearly a large portion of the course was focused on teaching students about what sustainability and sustainable design was and how it can have an impact on the environment, the users, and even the returns for investors. To begin the class, the book Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough was analyzed in order to provide a basis for the knowledge to be gained in the course. The book that was co-authored by an architect and a chemist seeks to inform readers on the benefit of good design paired with green design and show how closely these aspects are connected. They state that good sustainable design can not only avoid a negative environmental impact, but create a positive one. In LDEV 671 (Sustainable Development) overall, the class focuses on the principles presented within the book to help students understand the importance of the practice within the field. As a final assignment, students were asked to respond to the course and relay all of the information gained about sustainability within development. On the surface, the course defines what sustainable development is and provides good examples, however, it also instills a deeper understanding of the principles behind it and helps students gain insight on the necessity and responsibility held within sustainability. The full analysis of the book and the response to the course is attached below. (See Files 1 & 2)
Additionally in this course, a final project was assigned that challenged students to provide their take on the course topic as a whole. I decided to speak on the sustainability dividend and divide it into three steps in order to truly make a change in the practice. The three steps: seeing it, creating it, and measuring it, all lead to an enhanced sustainability triad of environment, society, and economy and have an overall greater impact than what can be seen locally on site. The final project presentation and script is attached below which outlines my analysis and thinking on the topic. (See Files 3 & 4)