HOUSECS 79.11 Sustainable Structures

This course offers a basic introduction into sustainable structures, focusing on the economic and social relevance.  Design aspects of sustainable structures, energy management and energy auditing are being discussed.  Students will gain hands-on experience performing a lighting audit (one aspect of an energy audit) of a Duke Medical facility using WattStopper IT-200 Data Loggers (light on/off, occupancy).  This audit will take place during two weeks of the academic semester.  Students will then analyze the data, give recommendations for improvement, and perform an economic analysis.  Economic and social aspects of sustainable structures (such as health, affordability, disaster-response, property value, etc.) are also be introduced and discussed during class.  Case studies of successful structures and eco-smart developments will be introduced, particularly Hammarby Sjöstad, the Eco-City in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Class topics include: 

  • The Energy Audit
  • Lighting and Case Study of Hammarby Sjöstad
  • Life Cycle Cost Analysis and Case Study of Kungsbrohuset (building in Stockholm)
  • Social Implications of Sustainable Structures
  • Thermal Comfort of the Indoor Spaces
  • Building Envelope and Energy Modeling
  • Maintaining a healthy IAQ
  • Commissioning
  • Sustainable/Green Building Certification
  • Economics: Affordable Installation and Alternative Financing

This class was developed by Jarrett Rabe, Catherine Joseph, Chelsea Canepa, and Doris Jwo with help from Ming Jiu Li.  The need for a course focusing on sustainable structures was identified and this course is the product of the students’ desire to fill that need. 

10 students are currently enrolled in the class, which is being taught by Jarret and Catherine for the first time during Spring 2011.  Students from the Pratt School of Engineering, Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, and the Law School are participating in the course.