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Sustainable Design Guide

Course Outline

Buildings consume more than two-thirds of the total amount of electricity used annually in the US. Sustainable development, also called high-performance buildings, has become a very important issue as the nation tries to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. High-performance buildings are designed and built to minimize resource consumption, to reduce life cycle costs, and to maximize health and environmental performance across a wide range of measures from indoor air quality to habitat protection. This course is designed to help design professionals get familiar with the planning and design process for creating and meeting sustainability goals, including energy reduction, indoor environmental quality, water conservation, stormwater management, and site preservation. This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:

Course Content

In this course, you are required to study the following design guide published by the Los Alamos National Laboratory:

LANL Sustainable Design Guide
(2002 edition, 252 pages, PDF file. File size: 12.8 MB).

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader from your computer.

Course Summary

A sustainable building, also known as a green building, is a structure that is designed, built and operated in an ecological and resource-efficient manner. Sustainable buildings are designed to meet certain objectives such as protecting occupant health; improving employee productivity; using energy, water, and other resources more efficiently; and reducing the overall impact to the environment. Building "green" is an opportunity to use our resources efficiently while creating healthier environment.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following web pages:

U.S. Green Building Council
Green Building Resource Guide
California Green Building Design and Construction
Santa Monica Green Building Program
NAHB's Model Green Home Building Guidelines


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.