Syllabus - Nicholas School of the Environment - Duke University

Document Sample
Syllabus - Nicholas School of the Environment - Duke University Powered By Docstoc
					                     Nicholas School of the Environment
                Duke Environmental Leadership (DEL) Program
                     ENVIRON 483 -- Green Development
                        Course Syllabus, Spring 2009

Course Instructor:

   G. Christopher Wedding, PhD, LEED-AP
   Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
   Duke Environmental Leadership (DEL) Program
   Duke University, Box 90328
   Durham, NC 27708-0328

   Phone:            (919) 274-7988
   Office hours:     Please contact me by email if you would like to discuss anything
                     outside of class

Course Teaching Assistant:

   Sara Chun
   Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
   Phone:            (919) 613-8053
   Office hours:     Please contact by email to set up an appointment

Course Description:

   Green development has gone from a design and construction strategy used by
   only a very limited portion of the market to one of the most significant forces in
   real estate development today. Driving factors include rising energy prices, the
   increasing frequency of droughts, growing awareness of climate change concerns,
   a rise in corporate social responsibility programs, and a market response to all
   these factors.

   In this course, students will explore the varying definitions of green
   development; how it is applied at the community, site and building-level; what it
   can cost; how it can create economic, social and environmental value; how it can
   be measured; who is practicing and implementing it; how it is financed; and what
   third-party standards exist to verify it. The class will also explore new
   opportunities and new models for green development along with its various
   challenges and limitations.

   Students will examine these topics through structured discussion boards,
   readings, lectures, conference calls, memorandum writing, analytical exercises
   and group presentations.

Course Objectives:

   After this course, I hope students will be able to define and describe the various
   definitions of green development; speak and write in a confident and educated
   manner about the pros and cons of green development strategies; act on various
   green development issues and techniques in their own lives and at their current
   jobs; take the test and become LEED Accredited Professionals; communicate
   clearly regarding the quantitative side of green development (e.g., statistics on
   impacts, costs, benefits); and think creatively and realistically about innovative
   green development products, services and real estate strategies.

Course Outline:

   Dates                 Sections and Modules

   1/5 – 1/6             Welcome, Introductions and Course Overview
                         (On Duke campus)

                         Module 1: Defining Green Development
                         History and Background (e.g., leaders, events)
                         Frameworks for Defining and Measuring Success (e.g.,

   1/12 – 1/23           Module 2: Business Fundamentals
                         Making the case (e.g., homebuyer demand for health
                         Financing (e.g., public finance options)

   1/26 – 2/6            Module 3: Site Design and Community Context
                         Land use and transportation (e.g., bike-friendly design)
                         Site planning and infrastructure (e.g., “green streets”)

   2/2 (10 pm EST)       ASSIGNMENT DUE: Persuasive Piece #1

   2/9 – 2/13            Extra Module: Green Development meets Social Equity
                         Green jobs (e.g., work by Van Jones)
                         Environmental justice (e.g., work by Majora Carter)

   2/16 – 2/27           Module 4: Water
                         Quantity (e.g., stormwater runoff)
                         Quality (e.g., indoor water filtration)

   3/2 (10 pm EST)       ASSIGNMENT DUE: Analytical Product #1

   3/2 – 3/6             Module 5: Energy and Carbon
                         Quantity (e.g., efficient energy use)
                         Quality (e.g., renewable energy)

   3/23 (10 pm EST)      ASSIGNMENT DUE: Persuasive Piece #2

   3/23 – 4/3            Module 6: Materials and Indoor Air Quality
                         Quantity (e.g., use recycled materials)
                         Quality (e.g., avoiding toxics)

   4/6 – 4/10            Module 7: Innovation
                        New models (e.g., green modular housing)
                        What’s next? (e.g., living buildings)

  4/15                  ASSIGNMENT DUE: Analytical Product #2
  (10 pm EST)           Classes End

Course Requirements:

  Students will complete the following assignments listed below. Assignments will
  be submitted through Blackboard’s digital drop box. Each will be explained in
  more detail at the appropriate time in the semester.

     •   Discussion Board – Students are expected to thoroughly engage in class
         discussions, which will be held on Blackboard. Students should check the
         discussion board at least twice each week and contribute meaningfully. I
         will post weekly questions and news articles to facilitate feedback,
         questions and comments. In keeping with the focus on leadership in DEL,
         I will assign one student to serve as moderator of the conversation to
         keep it on track and move it forward. This student will also summarize
         highlights and post a 1- or 2-page bulleted summary for the whole
         group by the Monday morning at 8:30 am following the previous
         week of a given discussion thread(s). One source for discussion topics will
         include commentary on current news and events in the green
         development world, such as those found on listservs such as GreenBuzz
         from or the EL Daily Newsletter from

     •   Persuasive Pieces – Two memorandums of no more than two pages will be
         written to “make the case” to a CEO, President or Board. Piece #1 will be
         aimed at discussing the costs and benefits of including green development
         elements in a hypothetical firm working on a hypothetical project of the
         student’s choice. Piece #2 will concentrate on the opposite – explaining
         the risks and concerns of such a strategy. Piece #1 is due on Monday,
         February 2nd at 10 pm EST. Piece #2 is due on Monday, March 23rd
         at 10 pm EST.

     •   Analytical Products – These products will each be no more than four pages
         in length. Product #1 should use relevant statistics, case studies, tables
         and graphics as appropriate to define what green development is and is
         not. Product #2 should aim to create a “nutrition label” for some aspect of
         green development, from the site to a building to a building material,
         which aids in measuring and communicating its success at a project- or
         portfolio-level. The audience includes a wide range of stakeholders, from
         consumers to professionals. These will be completed as group projects.
         Product #1 is due on Monday, March 2nd at 10 pm EST. Product #2
         is due on Monday, April 15th at 10 pm EST.

     •   Final Team Project – This final group project, with 3-4 students per team,
         will also build on the leadership theme for the DEL program through the
         creation of a business plan focused on combining various elements of
         green development discussed during the semester or proposing new
          models for green development in order to create a new business or non-
          profit opportunity. The format of the deliverables will be a “pitch”
          presentation in PowerPoint format with ~20 slides, plus a “take away”
          piece of no more than two pages which summarizes salient characteristics
          of the proposal. The audience will be the board of an organization, a pool
          of investors or some similar group used to vet new ideas for
          implementation. These projects are due the week of April 27th (exact
          times TBD).

   Lastly, with the background the students receive in this class, students will be
   strongly encouraged to become LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED-APs) with
   the US Green Building Council. Guidance will be provided. This designation has
   been shown to increase job opportunities in real estate as well as deal and
   investment opportunities for a wide variety of organizations in the real estate

Summary of Course Evaluation:

   Requirement                                                 Percent of Grade

   Discussion Board:                                            25%
   Frequent and enthusiastic participation
   Persuasive Pieces:                                           2 x 15%
   Memorandum to the CEO
   Analytical Work:                                             2 x 15%
   Defining Green Development, Nutrition Labeling and
   Measuring Success
   Team Project:                                                15%
   Writing the New Green Development Business Plan

Course Communication and Format:

   A weekly conference call will be held for one hour on Wednesday
   evenings at 8:00 pm EDT to discuss lectures, readings, assignments and topics
   from the discussion board. Students will view and digest 1-2 lectures per module,
   typically in PowerPoint format, at times that suit their schedules and meet class
   discussion and conference call needs. At times, lectures might be replaced or
   supplemented by assignments where students will provide structured feedback
   on class readings and post to the discussion board. Moreover, students who have
   expertise in a given area discussed in class may be called on to lead a portion of
   the module.

Overview of Course Reading Materials:

   1. Module 1: Defining Green Development
      • Franko, R., Gause, J.A., Heid, J., Kellenberg, S., Kingsbury, J., McMahon,
         E.T., Schweitzer, J.G., Slone, D.K., and Rose, J. (2007). Developing
         Sustainable Planned Communities. Pages 142-152, 202-212.
2. Module 2: Business Fundamentals
   • Rocky Mountain Institute. (1998). Green Development: Integrating
      Ecology and Real Estate. Chapter 8.

3. Module 3: Site Design and Community Context
   • Raimi, M, and Patrick, S.P. (2006). Understanding the Relationship
      Between Public Health and the Built Environment. Summary Conclusions.
      Pages 115-130. Accessible at:
   • US Green Building Council (2007.) LEED for Neighborhood Development
      Rating System. Pages 4-5. For the remainder of the document, just scan
      the “Intent” and “Requirements” sections for other LEED points. Accessible

4. Extra Module: Green Development Meets Social Equity
   • Van Jones, author of The Green Collar Economy
          • Watch a video or two about his work at:
   • Majora Carter, Executive Director, Sustainable South Bronx
          • Watch a video or two about her work at:

5. Module 4: Water
   • Hawken, P., et al. (2000). Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial
      Revolution. Chapter 11. Accessible at:
   • US Green Building Council. (2005.) LEED for New Construction Rating
      System. Pages 6-7, 18-19, 24-28. Accessible at:

6. Module 5: Energy and Carbon
   • US Green Building Council. (2005.) LEED for New Construction Rating
      System. Pages 29-42. Accessible at:
   • Wedding, G.C., and Crawford-Brown, D. (2008). “Improving the Link
      Between the LEED Green Building Label and a Building’s Energy-related
      Environmental Metrics.” Journal of Green Building, 3(2), 85-105.

7. Module 6: Materials and Resources
   • US Green Building Council. (2005.) LEED for New Construction Rating
      System. Pages 43-56. Accessible at:
   • Atlee, J., and Altes, T.K. (2008). “Behind the Logos: Understanding Green
      Product Certifications.” Environmental Building News, 17(1).

8. Module 7: Innovation
   • Wilson, A. (2006). “Biophilia in Practice: Buildings that Connect People
      with Nature.” Environmental Building News, 15(7).
•   TED. (2007). “Janine Benyus’ Shares Nature’s Designs.” Video from the
    2007 TED conference. Accessible at:

Shared By: