Woodbury Among 7 Best Sustainable Design Courses in America

Master of Architecture students have been taking on climate change in a graduate professional practice course at Woodbury University taught through the lens of sustainability and resiliency issues. Part of the Architecture 2030 pilot curriculum project, the course is one of seven nationwide selected to participate in the first year of this pilot project. At Woodbury School of Architecture the course is taught by Kishani De Silva, Michael Pinto, AIA and Catherine Roussel, AIA and presents students with weekly guest lecturers as well as student projects addressing energy policy, building codes, high-performance building practice, housing affordability, and other critical issues for practitioners in the Los Angeles region and State of California.

Meeting the Challenge of Designing a Zero Carbon Future

Metropolis Magazine reported on the Architecture 2030 project in November listing Woodbury’s professional practice course as one of seven exemplary courses in sustainability-centered design education. In the article, Anthony Guida, Program Director for the 2030 Curriculum project, was quoted. Explains Guida: “Students in architecture, planning, and other professional design disciplines must be prepared to meet the challenge of designing a zero carbon future, and the 2030 Curriculum Project highlights and supports the best in high-performance design education.”

Guida visited the class at Woodbury earlier in October and presented the Architecture 2030 mission to the students. He pointed out the importance of the challenge that “all new buildings, developments, and major renovations shall be carbon-neutral by 2030.” He also introduced the 2030 Palette providing location-specific strategies from interconnected transportation and habitat networks to elegant passive design solutions to light, heat, or cool individual buildings.

Bringing Home the Importance of Designing Sustainably

Woodbury University’s faculty member Kishani De Silva said: “In response to 2030 Architecture’s call for ‘innovative teaching proposals that expand and fully integrate lessons in energy use, emissions, and resiliency’, we expanded the sustainability component of our practice course in order to create greater awareness, bring home the importance of designing sustainably and the ramifications for not doing so. By bringing experts in the field into the classroom, we have been able to expose students to current thinking, tools and resources available and the inherent responsibility of the graduate architect as they enter into practice.”

Over 20 proposals were submitted from 18 US schools in 10 states, from graduate and undergraduate degree programs in architecture, planning, engineering, construction management, and real estate development. On the Architecture 2030 website, Guida says: “The seven selected courses represent creative and resourceful efforts by individual faculty and program chairs to integrate critical issues of sustainability into core and early design studios, history courses, and other program areas where this material has not been traditionally or adequately addressed.” Other schools participating in the project include Ball State University, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, USC, University of Texas at San Antonio, and University of Washington.

Architecture 2030’s mission is to rapidly transform the built environment from the major contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to a central part of the solution to the climate and energy crisis.

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