RIBA CPD Providers Network

Boston Architectural College

Sustainable Design Institute at Boston Architectural College The Sustainable Design Institute at the BAC provides half-semester, faculty-led, interactive, graduate-level courses in a fully online format. Course instructors are building industry experts. Visit www.the-bac.edu/green for more information.

Contact information

Boston Architectural College
320 Newbury Street


CPD booking contact

Tel: + () 1 617 585 0129

Approved CPD materials

Daylight and State of Art Electric Lighting
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
- Students will be able to acquire a deeper understanding of how the elements of the visual environment influence our perception of architecture through a series of observation exercises and discussions focused on the principals of vision and perception. - Students will be able to learn to analyze and diagram the sun’s position relative to any site and building façade using the sun angle calculator and knowledge of the earth’s relationship to the sun. - Students will be able to explore energy modeling practices and energy implications of natural lighting and students will be able to learn to evaluate the pros and cons of their daylighting concepts to make responsible choices between design and energy criteria. - Students will be able to create naturally lighted architectural spaces that comfortably support the activities performed within and have a positive influence on the experience of the space in a final design project.
Economics of Green Building
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
- To understand course requirements. - Recognition of the complementary knowledges required for the sustainable development professional. - Clarification of the elusive term “sustainability.” - Defining “economics” in the context of green building. - Recognition of green building as one of many business strategies.
Energy Modelling in Building Design
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
This seminar will:
  • Review building thermal load components
  • Review heat transfer basics
  • Identify where energy is used in buildings
  • Identify building energy end use components
Environmental Systems
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
This seminar aims to:
  • Describe heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, plumbing, and fire protection systems
  • and identify their environmental impact through narratives and diagrams.
  • Compare renewable energy sources.
  • Calculate heating and cooling loads.
  • Investigate building performance.
  • Participate in an integrated design process.
Getting the Green Building you Want: Construction Management
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
-Identify the roles of key decision makers on a construction project.
  • Know why there are protocols and a hierarchy for communication.
  • Investigate the role body language plays in communication.
  • Know what resources are at your disposal for documenting a construction project for its inherent environmental impacts.
  • Document and record key requirements for a construction project to assure success.
  • Identify the implications when a concrete mix design is changed during construction.
  • Advise your team with an economic and realistic resolution to the change in the documents for its potential use.
  • Provide a substitute wall assembly to exceed the initial design requirements and earn higher green points for a scoring system.
  • Have the knowledge of a more cost effective and green points rated wall assembly.
  • Know what products are available in the marketplace that will be suitable for use and know who and where to contact.
  • Know the importance of materials selection as it relates to the building’s energy performance.
Global Perspectives on Sustainable Design
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
- Through discussion and readings, students will discover global approaches that differ from their personal/professional understanding and experiences. - Students will be able to cite examples of sustainable concepts and applications throughout history. - Through research and discussion, students will have a perspective on contributions of native peoples to the thinking and development of sustainability today. - Students will explore opportunities and challenges of “thinking globally, acting locally.” - Students will gain a perspective on leadership roles and collaboration of non-government organisations throughout these nations. - Students will gain a perspective on leadership roles and collaboration of non-government organisations throughout these nations. - Students will examine the currently established rating systems based on underlying principles, culture, and history of the country. - Students will gain perspective on sector roles and responsibilities if green building is to be successful throughout the world. - Students will have an opportunity to think about their own opportunities and next steps toward “making a difference” beyond their “home”.
Green Building and Health
Type: Advanced degree/Online Learning
- Participants will be able to recognize the intersection between the public health and design professions to determine how each can positively inform the other. - Participants will be able to identify top diseases and public health epidemics that can be improved through design- and planning-based solutions. - Participants will be able to apply health-focused approaches and strategies to different scales of design, from product to building to city. - Participants will be able to analyze current trends in design for health and wellbeing and anticipate future initiatives and opportunities.
Green Practice: Energy and Air Quality Principles
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
This CPD aims to:
  • Describe the macroclimate and the microclimate for a specific building site.
  • Describe the bioclimate for a specific building interior when provided the building site (location) and the intended building use or occupant activity.
  • Calculate the heat transfer through a specified wall assembly when the interior and exterior temperatures are provided.
  • Read a sun path diagram and use the information that it provides to assist in the design of glazing orientation and the selection of glazing properties.
  • Understand the basic principles of natural ventilation.
  • Apply the principles of daylighting to specific buildings.
  • Incorporate all of these green building design principles into the design and analysis of the course long building project.
Green Residential Remodeling and Renovation
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
- Critical thinking and foresight needed when making sustainable choices so green objectives are understood and met. - Better understanding on green issues and options with respect to remodeling and renovation. - Sound comprehension of building science, indoor air quality, energy conservation, and energy efficiency principals. - Better deliver sound recommendations to clients regarding green elements of residential remodeling and renovation. - Design or deliver project that employ the house as a system philosophy; projects that incorporate health, safety, durability, sustainability, affordability and comfort to occupants. - Make informed recommendations on green materials and practices.
Green Roofs/Green Walls
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
- This course will enable the student to determine whether a living green roof or wall is an appropriate solution for a new construction or renovation project, based on the specific existing or proposed conditions and the project program. - This course will enable the student, if having determined the appropriateness of a living green roof or wall, to build a compelling case for implementation, and to propose a clear and practical path to completion. These are important skills in persuading owners and clients, as well as achieving optimum results in negotiating permitting. - This course will enable the student to evaluate the available materials and technologies for living green roof and wall construction and planting in order to select a successful system. - At the completion of this course the student will be able to design, estimate, and specify a basic living green roof or green wall which can minimize stormwater peak discharge, provide thermal and acoustic insulation, prolong roof membrane life, support habitat and ecosystem services, and promote human well-being by providing natural greenspace to satisfy our need for connection to nature.
Greening Existing Buildings
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
- To understand and discuss the many ways that buildings interact with their environment. - To relate various building impacts to regional and global environmental conditions. - To design improvements to the physical, operational, and behavioral building system to reduce negative environmental impacts. - To advocate for improvements to existing buildings and operations based upon a clear understanding of the local, regional, and global impacts of the buildings and operations.
Greening the City
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
-Participants will be able to infuse principles and practices of sustainability into their project and planning work.
  • Participants will be able to better communicate and collaborate with local government officials, staff, and community groups in further sustainable development projects and policies.
  • Participants will be able to design, plan and develop projects, programs and policies that facilitate the goals of sustainability.
High Performance Design and LEED Rating System
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
- Students will present an essay demonstrating a basic understanding of LEED’s overarching goals and evaluating its role in the building industry (integrated design, and tools for high-performance design, including the LEED Rating System). - Students will be able to apply Sustainable Site credits by selecting a site for a proposed project based on their comparison of environmental issues and opportunities. Sustainable Sites section of the LEED-NC Rating System. - Students will be able to identify and describe the type of strategies required to achieve credit thresholds for water use reduction by researching available water fixtures and calculating the water efficiency of different scenarios. Water Efficiency section of the LEED-NC Rating System. - Students will be able recommend at least three strategies or systems for improving the energy efficiency of a commercial project, based on their understanding of building energy use. “Energy and Atmosphere” section of the LEED-NC Rating System. - Students will be able to research the environmental impact of specific building materials and analyse how material selection contributes to LEED credits and points. “Materials & Resources” section of the LEED-NC Rating System. - Students will be able to evaluate the quality of a familiar indoor environment and its impact on occupant health, comfort, and productivity by conducting an informal post-occupancy evaluation. “Indoor Environmental Quality” section of the LEED-NC Rating System. - Students will present an essay demonstrating their understanding of and perspective on integrated design principals and practices. - Students will critique the current LEED Rating System, evaluating challenges and identifying opportunities for improving it as a useful and effective metric for rating high performance buildings.
Introduction to the international Green Construction Code
Type: Course/Advanced degree
- Students will be able to navigate the requirements of the International green Construction Code, locating requirements applicable to a given project. - Sample projects will be provided and a final project of the student’s choosing will provide a vehicle for a fuller exploration of the IgCC’s implications. - Student performance will be evaluated based on weekly assignments and the final project, as well as class participation.
Learning from the History of Sustainable Development/Learning from Sustainable Design Through History
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
- Identification of the difference between domestic buildings and monumental buildings when it comes to resources. - The integration of streets in relationship to the climate. - Understanding embodiment of energy and its relationship to the making of materials. - Comparing and contrasting primitive architecture versus vernacular architecture. - The role of a culture’s spiritual beliefs in the creation of their buildings. - Gain a clear perspective on the readings on Vitruvius’ Ten Books of Architecture. - Seeing the connection between modern day architects referring back to Roman times in their concepts. - Understanding how periods and cultures affect the development of architectural style. - Understanding the shift from anthropomorphic symbols to the importance of ornament based on proportion and connection. - Understanding the effects of the Renaissance mindset (which was moving away from man in God’s image and becoming more empowered as individuals) in architecture.
Lifecycle Assessment of Building Materials
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
- Students will define the major categorical distinctions that will be used in this class (eg cost, price, scale, environmental, economic, ethical, etc). - Students will identify the basic research and critical analysis practices that are expected of them in this class.
Marketing Sustainability
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
- The learner will be able to identify and apply rating systems to green building marketing. - The learner will be able to differentiate between 'green' and 'greenwash'. - The learner will be able to develop a basic service firm marketing plan using segmentation, targeting and positioning, with sustainability as a differentiator. - The learner will be able to apply two arguments that address the perceived added cost of sustainable construction, operations and certification. - The learner will be able to apply his/her knowledge of future green trends to sustainable firm marketing.
Materials, Resources, and IEQ
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
This CPD aims:
  • To identify criteria for green building materials.
  • To recognise how the implementation of waste management plans decrease waste during construction or renovation.
  • To be able to identify and specify materials that contribute to a safe, healthy and comfortable (indoor enviromental quality).
  • To employ research, resources and tools to determine the greenest selection of building materials.
  • To measure specific product attributes that qualify them to meet project specifications, LEED or other rating system guidelines.
  • To formulate questions to ask product manufacturers in order to determine the environmental attributes of products and companies.
  • To discover tools to assess a product's LCA rating.
  • To resolve to impact forward thinking and affect change in the selection of green building materials.
Multiple Urbanisms: Divergence or Synergy
Type: Advanced degree/Online Learning
At the end of this course, students will be able to:
  • Explain emerging theories and movements that inform the current planning discourse on sustainable community design and urbanism.
  • Explain past urbanist theories and movements that set a basis of precedents for current emerging theories.
  • Analyze and compare different approaches to the problems of sprawl and urban development among past and emerging urbanisms, with a special focus on sustainability.
  • Apply observations derived from the comparison of urbanist theories and movements to sample urban and suburban sites, and draw conclusions about the sustainability of alternative planning approaches.
Passive Heating and Cooling Design
Type: Advanced degree/Online Learning
The course is intended to provide students with an understanding of the following:
  • Major factors affecting a site’s solar resources.
  • Major factors affecting airflow pathways through a building.
  • Primary opportunities for passive heating and cooling.
Residential Energy Modeling
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
- Students will have a basic knowledge of heat balance calculations in residential buildings. - The student will be able to properly predict good energy saving strategies using climate analysis software. - The student will be able to use modeling software to confirm that a residential building complies with a national or local energy code. - The student will be able to properly predict energy use of a building using energy-modeling software. - The student will be able to decrease the predicted energy use of a building design by using energy modeling software. - The student will be able to model a residential building using Ecotect Software. - The student will be able to model daylighting using Ecotect software. - Student will be able to use energy-modeling software to design for and predict low energy use in a residential building.
Resilient Design
Type: Advanced degree/Online Learning
The course is intended to provide students with an understanding of the following:
  • The relationship between resilience and sustainability—where those goals are synergistic, where they are in conflict;
  • Practical strategies for creating resilient buildings that will maintain livable conditions in the event of loss power or heating fuel;
  • Land-use planning strategies for achieving more resilient communities, including the ability for residents to access key services in the event of gasoline shortages or an inability to pump gasoline.
  • Issues that extend beyond buildings and the built environment in achieving resilience, including food security and resilient ecological systems.
Site Design, Landscaping and Site-Water Issues
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
This CPD aims to:
  • Begin the study of elements of whole systems design with the site assessment phase.
  • Explore building and site elements that are important in microclimatic design.
  • Observe building form and microclimates where you live.
  • Use the lecture and reading information to create (draw) a site assessment plan and (write) a Building Assessment for your case study site.
  • Incorporate the study of water into climate modification techniques and design applications.
  • Understand the functional and environmental implications of keeping stormwater on site.
  • As the design statement and goals and objectives evolve, incorporate water, low impact design, and the inter-connectedness among various design elements and into the proposal.
Solar Energy: Design with Sun
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
- Students will have a basic understanding of thermal dynamics and solar design. - Students will have a basic understanding of what constitutes thermal comfort in buildings and how the building envelope can be designed to contribute to overall thermal comfort. - The student will be able to locate climate data, download it and convert the data into graphs to aid in the design of solar buildings. - The student will be able to estimate the amount of solar energy available for a solar building. - The student will be able to size south windows and determine appropriate mass in a solar building using charts and a energy analysis tool, HEED. - The student will be able to design an efficient shading device for a solar building. - The student will be able to size a photovoltaic system and estimate cost, pay back period and return on investment. - Students will be able to design a simple solar building that integrates direct solar gain and pv panels.
Sustainable Communities: Land Use, Transportation and Planning
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
On completion, students will be able to:
  • Research information about planning sustainable communities, including publications, websites, organisations, design firms, government agencies, and educational institutions.
  • Analyse the urban design elements that make up a sustainable community, including building density, mixed uses, walkability and bikability, proximity to public transit, and green space. This includes familiarity with the LEED-ND criteria for sustainable development.
  • Analyse how effectively planning and zoning policies at the community and regional level contribute to promoting sustainability.
  • Explain the historic evolution of North American cities, suburbs, sprawl, sustainability, and smart growth.
Sustainable Design and Building Information Modeling
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
On completion, students will be able to:
  • Develop their own approach to sustainable design
  • Set up a BIM for sustainable design metrics
  • Use a BIM for conceptual design energy analysis
  • Edit BIM content to track material or component quantities
Sustainable Design and Preservation
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
As the art and science of sensitively adapting historic buildings for continued and new uses, preservation is inherently a sustainable practice. Learn how old buildings were built with features that conserve energy and create a comfortable environment. Develop a framework for evaluating energy-saving options for historic buildings and the special considerations they require. Build your knowledge of current best practices in the field regarding windows, insulation, renewables and more. This course will help you design energy improvements that meet historic preservation guidelines whether you're trying to comply with regulatory requirements in a local design review process or federally funded project, or just want to promote the long term sustainability of historic buildings. Discussion topics will include environmental quality, materials selection, and energy rating systems like LEED.
Sustainable Design as a Way of Thinking
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
This CPD aims:
  • To state course requirements and to begin our exploration of sustainability and design.
  • To give you new thinking tools for understanding long-term, dynamic, complex systems and how this understanding can help sustainable design.
  • To introduce you to the ideas of design patterns and pattern languages; to explore how pattern languages could be used to network design professionals in common efforts across geographic scales; to explore the geometry of sustainable, natural, living systems.
  • To increase the skill with which you bring collaboration and integrated-design processes into your work.
  • To increase your ability to incorporate services provided by nature when designing and engineering. To increase your ability to design and engineer for the efficient provision of desired services; to increase your familiarity with the scope and scale of the climate-change problem; and to increase your understanding of the effectiveness of strategies to address this problem.
  • To provide thinking tools to help you assess the life cycles of materials and products, and their use in the built environment.
  • To provide you with opportunities to make up for shortfalls in previous assignments.
  • To invite you to integrate ideas from the course into a real-world setting.
  • To provide students with ideas and perspectives for thinking about environmental sustainability.
  • To provide a better understanding of some key environmental issues related to design and construction.
Sustainable Design in Practice
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
This CPD aims to help architects:
  • Identify a truly sustainable firm from inside to outside and use their knowledge to know how to successfully run a sustainable design business, not just what a sustainable design firm looks like.
  • Comprehend codes, rules, standards that agencies create, LEED guidelines, state, federal and local policies. Students will have knowledge that there ARE sustainable guidelines that are mandated by public policy in state and local government.
  • Recognise the current ups/downs of the implementation of new software based on the process of change in mindset of a group of people.
  • Concretely understand AIA Document B214 – 2007 and AIA Integrated Project Delivery and be able to use them effectively during designing and construction projects.
  • Have confidence in information sharing and a collaborative approach to educating ourselves and each other in order to market ourselves and firms.
  • Understand the liability and responsibility of an architect in not only the architecture/design business but in sustainable design and who holds
  • should hold
  • the responsibilities.
  • Be effective leaders and effectively guide a team into change that work s together well.
  • Know an architect’s role as a keystone species or a supporting member in the industry and ultimately the sustainability movement.
Sustainable Design of Healthcare Facilities
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
This CPD aims to help architects:
  • Understand the major factors that make healthcare architecture different from other building types, and the implications of these differences on green building.
  • Address the relationship between “green” and “healthy” as it pertains to healthcare facilities.
  • Determine driving factors other than environmental sustainability that are relevant to healthcare facility design.
  • Understand the differing needs between patients, families, administrators and staff.
  • Understand the main contributing factors to indoor environmental quality in healthcare buildings, and why these might not be the same as for other building types.
  • Determine how healthcare facilities are uniquely affected by lighting design, especially for aging and other visually challenged populations.
  • Describe best practices in acoustical design for healthcare facilities.
  • Apply concepts associated with the biophilia hypothesis to healthcare.
  • Understand the major contributors to air quality in hospitals.
  • Determine the differences between air quality in healthcare facilities and other building types.
Sustainable Neighbourhoods
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
This CPD aims to:
  • Identify and describe the various climatic, cultural, and economic influences that shape a community's sustainable solutions.
  • Identify and analyse strategies to encourage behavioural changes that support a sustainable community.
  • Analyse the role of streets, who they are for, and how their design and configuration influence behavior and community wellbeing.
  • Identify and describe positive and negative features of a street and evaluate its role within the larger circulation network.
  • Identify and describe the impacts of development on the watershed.
  • Analyse the full cost of importing water.
  • Analyse and describe the role of land use and open space in sustaining a community.
  • Develop a rationale for the appropriate blend of land use within your neighbourhood.
  • Identify a rationale for the provision of affordable housing options.
  • Analyse the nexus between an individual's dietary habits and the impact on their community.
  • Describe the impacts of food production on the environment.
  • Describe the evolving renewable energy industry.
  • Analyse strategic opportunities for local partnerships to leverage waste streams for energy production.
  • Identify solutions to reduce energy demand.
  • Describe and analyse the energy embodied in the construction, operations, and maintenance of a building.
  • Identify and describe solutions to improving climatic and cultural considerations in modern building design.
  • Explain the rationale and objectives for introducing sustainable features in your community.
  • Analyse the cultural, political, and economical obstacles to introducing changes in your community.
Sustainable Transportation
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
- Understand the connection between land use and transportation and that link's importance to sustainability. - Develop a literature of sustainable transportation terms, themes, sources, and authors. - Examine and critically consider transportation projects, policies and practices in students' backyard, country and world. - Critically assess and discuss the sustainable merits of transportation projects. - Consider the long-term implications of transportation policies in terms of economic, environmental, and social impacts. - Affect transportation policies in students' immediate and distant environs as educated, critically aware, and engaged citizens. - Learn to balance technological potential and environmental stewardship with socio-economic and political realities. - Adopt an "In their Future Shoes" perspective for students' academic and professional work.
The Building Envelope
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
  • Ability to state the physical parameters which characterize environments in which humans are comfortable and productive.
  • Successfully search for, download, and analyse relevant climate data for any location in which a project may be sited.
  • Employing the applicable climate data, the student will learn the procedures for determining the correct configuration of building wall components necessary to avoid damaging condensation within the building envelope.
  • The student will learn the correct terminology used to quantify air infiltration and air exfiltration across the building envelope and be able to state the code-mandated minimum performance levels for these flows.
  • The student will learn strategies for minimising the effects of bulk water on the building envelope and roughly calculate the benefits of alternate wall and roof configurations for reducing water entry into the structure.
  • The student will learn the basic physics of heat loss and heat gain across the building envelope and be able to identify climate-appropriate levels of thermal insulation and its proper location for maximum energy savings.
Urgent and Hopeful Future of Sustainable Design
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
  • Incorporate into their designs the idea of buildings, neighbourhoods, cities and the products of design as part of ecological systems.
  • Identify healthy qualities in a system to determine a state of sustainability and the potential for regeneration.
  • Develop an action plan for embarking on a life long journey in pursuit of ecological design.
Zero Energy Homes: What, How, If
Type: Online Learning/Advanced degree
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
  • Define a zero energy home in context.
  • Describe the process of analysis which could deliver a zero energy home design.
  • Identify the impediments to realisation of a truly zero energy home.
  • Identify strategies of zero energy homes that apply to high performance residential design
  • even without a stated goal of zero net energy.

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