ENVR E-119: Integrated Sustainable Design and Planning: From Building to Community

Changing the paradigm of urban development to become more sustainable requires a common baseline understanding of sustainability principles, metrics, and decision-making tools. This course introduces students to a sequence of courses that cover sustainable neighborhoods, building health, and infrastructure projects. It demonstrates how intentional design, planning, and leadership within the built environment sector can contribute to urban resiliency by creating efficiencies, incorporating ecological services, and enhancing human health. Synergies between the principles of site design, building performance, and resource use connect healthy built environments to healthy communities at the level of scale, with resiliency a point of emphasis throughout the course. To do this, we present innovative strategies for sustainable urban infrastructure planning, applying existing research on environmental linkages to guidelines and prototypes for practice. Students learn green building principles, and pay attention to inputs/outputs of four main environmental resources—energy, water, material and solid waste, and landand become familiar with international standards for sustainable design, operations, and management of buildings, strategies for landscape design, healthy building material use, neighborhood design, and project criteria developed to address the environmental and human health concerns that accompany urbanization. Frameworks include the US Green Building Councils LEED ratings systems for buildings and communities, the International Living Future Institutes Declare program, Biophilic Cities Network criteria, New York City's Active Design Guidelines, and the Zofnass Envision program. 

Notes: This course includes an intensive and mandatory weekend residency and online lectures. The course begins online, with the option to attend class on campus, during the first week of the term, and continues to meet throughout the term. Please see the course website or syllabus for the specific two-hour course meeting dates. Tuition does not include hotel accommodations, transportation, or meals for the on-campus weekend session.


Linda Powers Tomasso
Emil Cuevas-Melendez






Tuesday 5:30-7:30; Saturday 9:00-5:00; Sunday 9:00-5:00

Course ID: 

  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2016-2017 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

NEW! Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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