The course considers the growing popularity of sustainability and its implications for the practice of engineering, particularly for the built environment. Two particular methodologies are featured: life cycle assessment (LCA) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The LCA methodology is a rigorous, quantitative approach to environmental impact evaluation that tallies the impacts of products throughout their lifetimes; it has been used successfully in a number of industries (particularly packaging and manufacturing) but less frequently in the built environment. The LEED rating system awards points to projects for achieving specific goals considered relevant to sustainable design, and rates built projects according to the total number of points achieved. The fundamentals of each approach will be presented. Specific topics covered include water and wastewater management, energy use, material selection, and construction.

Class meetings will consist of general lectures and guest lectures, often followed by a tutorial/discussion session. Students are required to conduct and present a group case study, the topic of which will be decided per group according to interest.

Course Grading

Homework 2 - Carbon Dioxide 10%
Homework 3 - Life Cycle Assessment 10%
Homework 4 - Sustainable Buildings and Sites 20%
Final Project 60%

Each homework will be assigned one week before the due date, with the sole exception of the Final Project.