STS 497F Green Design and Technologies

3 Credits * Schedule #609109

219 Hammond Building * Mondays & Wednesdays 2:30pm-3:45pm

Spring 2006 Syllabus * OPEN TO ALL MAJORS!



Tania Slawecki :          201C Old Botany /

                                    105 MRL / 865-0265


Course Objectives:

·            Become familiar with critical “state of the world” issues and utilize these as new design parameters and constraints to guide us in designing “green” buildings and technologies, clarifying new avenues for innovation in engineering and “green business”

·            Understand the historical context for “how things have gotten to be as they are today”, including social, political and economic factors that have influenced this path, and consider how we might address such factors to build a “greener” and potentially “sustainable” world

·            Learn the capabilities of plants and other living systems to reduce embodied energy and create win-win technological scenarios when integrated with the engineered or built environment

·            Develop a “tool kit” of “best green design options” applicable to retrofitting existing structures (homes, buildings), to designing & building new “green buildings”, or to designing and building whole new communities

·            “How green is Green?:  To be able to critically evaluate “green technologies” using various sustainability metrics

·            Become familiar with the general criteria for green building design as prescribed by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)

·            Get introduced to the network of green designers and builders around the world, providing you with ideas for future career options, research directions and business opportunities

·            Practice applying what you learn to a number of real (or potentially real) projects with the goal of helping you learn how to constructively transform our world and become comfortable with the language and art of green design



TBA – most of the graded assignments will be given in the first half of the course so that the course load will be lighter for the second half of the semester.


General Education Credit:  If you would like to receive gen-ed credits for this course, please see me in class or e-mail me.  I can assist in developing a petition letter for you.


Format & Topics (Tentative): Team-based applied design exercises plus

Lectures/Guest Lectures:

·    Context for Green Design / History / Sustainable Cultures: Tikopia vs. Easter Island

·    Key people in Green Design: Bucky Fuller, Bill McDonough, Pliny Fisk, John Todd, John Jeavons, & others

·    Embodied energy / sustainability metrics / alternative & future energy options: focus on best passive solar designs

·    Green Building material options

·    Health aspects: electromagnetic pollution, indoor air quality, daylighting

·    Living Technologies: living machines, breathing walls, green roofs, composting toilets, EkoPan

·    Water: landscape/stormwater runoff, Keyline water collection method, graywater treatment, flow forms

·    Population issues, food-growing, Bioshelters, CoHousing/Eco-Villages

·    USGBC’s LEED criteria for assessing Green Design and other green design assessment frameworks

·    Eco-retrofits of existing structures: homes and other buildings


Videos/DVDs: The End of Suburbia, Ecological Design, US Green Building Council’s PA’s First Green Building, Renewable Energy in Pennsylvania, The Future of Food