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Sustainability in the Built Environment

Number: BCT 150
Credits: 4
Format: In person, Amherst

Semester: Fall
Meeting Times: Tue/Thu, 11:30 - 12:45
Room: ILC S331

LMS Link


Benjamin Weil,
Ph.D., M.A., B.A.

Extension Assistant Professor, Extension Program in Building Energy

Office: Olver Design Building 321
Phone: +1 (413) 545-1820

Office Hours | Faculty Page | LinkedIn

Course Description

This course explores the issues of sustainability from the perspective of the built environment, our history of construction and expansion, and buildings and how they interact with the natural environment. Students will be exposed to issues of human impacts on natural systems through the built environment and the variety of disciplines that are working to create a more sustainable future.

Gen-Ed: I

Learning Goals

  • Knowledge of the many ways that buildings and built infrastructure impact ecological systems on local, regional and global scales.
  • Awareness of the principles of green building and sustainable design.
  • Ability to apply principles of environmental, economic, and social sustainability to solve problems in policy, design and operation of the built environment.
  • Knowledge about economic, racial and environmental justice issues manifest in the built environment.
  • Awareness of the complex systems that provide potable water, waste water treatment, transportation, energy services, waste management and recycling.
  • Knowledge about building energy systems and HVAC
  • Understanding of the role of urban green space.
  • Understanding of Stormwater management and elements of sustainable sites.
  • Awareness of the impact of material specification on the environment and the economics of building.
  • Awareness of the structure and economics of the construction industry.
  • Awareness of toxics in building materials
  • Understanding of the factors of indoor environmental quality
  • Ability to work in teams.
  • Ability to identify, research, and evaluate solutions for problems in the built environment.
  • Ability to communicate using video.
  • Introduction to Perusall, spreadsheets, iClicker, video editing software (various)


None required

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