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Walking the Talk: Sustainable Design Basics and Sustainable Design Charrettes

GBCI: 0920000575

This course covers in depth the many aspects of a sustainable project and what questions you should be asking your clients.
Eligible for 1.5 CE HOURS.
  • 1.5 CE

Published on: July 07, 2014

Average: 3 (3 votes)


This course covers all the aspects of a sustainable project and what questions you should be asking your clients. Among the topics covered are Sustainability Background, Fundamental Questions, Integrated Design, The Client, Third Party Certifications, Government and Municipalities, Utility Companies, and much more. Four modules guide you through all phases of the design and offers tips to keep your project flowing.

The target audiences are building owners, architects, professionals, LEED® credentialed professionals or anyone interested how to design and work with the client to build a sustainable building.


  1. Understand the premise and the drivers for sustainable design
  2. Define and function within an integrated design structure
  3. Engage clients in developing sustainable goals for their projects
  4. Comprehend the many facets of design that come together to create a genuinely sustainable design project

Course Modules

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Created by

GreenSpring Institute™, LLC
Taylor, PA
United States


Joseph Parisi

Sustainability Program Manager
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3 commentsLeave a comment

Joel Ann Todd
Pro Reviewer

It is very difficult to rate this course because it is very uneven. The course has several real strengths but also some significant weaknesses. First, the strengths - it provides excellent suggestions for talking with clients, getting their perspectives, bringing them along on sustainability ideas. It includes excellent suggestions for questions to ask early in the process, particularly related to site selection. It encourages teams to learn about government incentives and policies that could affect the project. For some topics, it focuses on "why" not just "how" which is essential for understanding. It also includes clear descriptions of specific technologies such as green roof construction, solar and geothermal technologies.

The course is uneven and does not meet all of the expectations raised by the course description and objectives. It does not cover "all aspects of a sustainable project" since materials are covered superficially and indoor environmental quality is not addressed at all. The discussion of "integrated design"(objective #2) focuses on including team members in discussions but does not talk about what "integrative design" is or how team members participate in an integrative process. It also does not provide as much information on sustainability charrettes as the title implies.

The course does not address some of the current topics in sustainable design and therefore feels a bit out-of-date. For example, in the discussion of materials, there is nothing on looking at multiple attributes rather than single characteristics, life cycle impacts, and more in depth consideration of materials and human health.

The course is explicitly not about LEED or any other certification system - it is about principles and strategies. You will learn useful information that will help in understanding credits or criteria in these systems, but it will not tell you how to achieve them, what is required, etc.

I recommend this course for those who want to learn more about the topics that are its strengths. I could give the course a 4-5 star rating for those topics.

Principal, Ecosmith Architecture & Consulting

This presentation provides a good overview of some of the principles and strategies of sustainable design. The overview of key questions to ask at the start of the project and things to research such as available incentives is especially valuable. These sections provide a good introduction that would be helpful to practitioners interested in helping to establish sustainability goals and value propositions for clients. The presentation goes on to address key areas of sustainable design such as site, water, energy, and materials. The site section is well done and informative. The sections on water and energy also provide a good introduction to key issues. Materials issues are only lightly covered and indoor environmental issues are not addressed. The presentation style is somewhat casual at times and this can distract from the content or intended message. Overall, however, this is a good introduction for those interested in knowing more about some of the different facets of sustainable design, especially related to goal setting.

Research & Strategic Innovation Specialist, HOK
Pro Reviewer

This course is a nicely paced, 4-module series, that delivers on its promise of providing a wholesome understanding of sustainable design. I would strongly recommend this course to designers and consultants who are very interested in sustainable practices and would like to take a deeper dive into both the premise and the drivers of sustainability, as well as issue-specific practical points for immediate implementation. The course may also serve as a nice refresher for more seasoned practitioners. As the course gets deeper into the specifics of sustainability, it does a great job of assisting the audience to first ask the right questions so that they can in return provide the most relevant assistance/guidance to their clients at the appropriate intervals. One aspect to keep in mind though: be patient and allow for a 1-2 min. upload time for the videos, as modules 2-4 have their links to the side and do take more time to upload then module 1.

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