ARTS 623
Green Architecture

Michael Pestel

Required Texts

Cradle to Cradle – Remaking the Way We make Things, William Mc Donough and Michael Braungart,  North Point Press 2002

The Philosophy of Sustainable Design, Jason F. McLennan, Ecotone Publishing Company LLC, 2004

Shelter, ed. Lloyd Kahn, Shelter Publications, 1973

The New Natural House Book, David Pearson, Simon and Schuster, 1998
Required Course Work and Grading

1) Two 4 page writing/planning projects (2 x 15% = 30%)
2) Final 12 page research paper OR Studio/Building Project plus a 6 page research paper (50%)
3) Project Journal: an informal collection of ideas and sketches related t your writing projects, hands-on experiences, speakers, field trips, etc. Drawing skills are not required 20%  

*The first writing assignment revolves around a visit to the Sirius Community Center, an ecovillage outside of Northampton, MA.  We will meet there as a group on Sunday, July 1 for their open house at 11 AM.  Please check their website for driving instructions:  

Sirius has a commitment to living in harmony with the Earth. Examples of this lifestyle include using renewable energy sources (e.g., wind power and photovoltaics), organic gardening (e.g., integrated pest management, conscious attunement to plant energies, and permaculture techniques), green building (e.g., local, non-toxic materials, passive-solar design, super-insulation); recycling (e.g., free clothing store, re-using building materials, composting toilets). It also means striving towards simplicity, integrity, and non-violence in our relationships to each other, our environment, and even ourselves. 

Note: If you are unable to make it this Sunday, their next open house is on Sunday, July 15.  In that case, please switch the order of the Writing Projects. If you are unable to attend either open house at Sirius, you are welcome to stop in spontaneously on any day to explore the village though without the grand community welcome. 

1) Writing Project #1: Apply your understanding of the LEED rating system and William McDonough’s “Hannover Principles” ( selectively to one specific architectural approach at the Sirius Community Center and compare it to any site-specific vernacular types of architecture you have studied during the first weeks of the course.

2) Writing Project #2: Formulate your own well-considered and focused question about Green Architecture, either in terms of your reading and/or hands-on studio or site experience.  This writing assignment may be used to prepare for or link up to your Final Project, if you choose.  Please submit your question for this assignment and your plan for the final project no later than Wednesday, July 11.
Expectations and Outcomes
Students are expected to formulate discussion questions in response to the readings, to participate in class discussions, field trips and group projects,  to engage in an individual research project and class presentation, and to keep a project journal that reflects an ongoing dialog with the course materials and experiences.  

By the end of the course, the student will have gained an historical, theoretical and practical insight into the development of environmentally sustainable architecture, and will be prepared to apply sound eco-principles and design strategies in everyday life. Our study of the LEED rating standards in assessing environmental quality will allow the student to evaluate diverse building types and approach personal building projects with a deeper understanding of the site-specific issues at hand.

Course Schedule
June 25 Cradle to Cradle and the LEED Rating Standard
Read: Shelter, 4-26; 85-99; 151
June 27 Vernacular Architecture (Caves, Huts, Tents, Animal Architecture, Tipis, Yurts, Towers, Tree Houses, House Boats)
Read: Shelter, 27-79; 100-150; 161-171
July 2 Vernacular Architecture (Timer-Frame, Barns, The Japanese House, Adobe, Baled Straw, Soddies, Windmills, Watermills, Domes, Zomes)
Read: Handouts, TBA
July 4 July 4th Holiday - No Classes
July 9 Introduction to Modernist Reform Movements in Europe: Ebenezer Howard, Tony Garnier, Le Corbusier, Bauhaus
Read: Handouts, TBA
Writing Project #1 Due
July 11 American Modernists: Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller, Paolo Soleri
Read: McLennan, xv-150
July 16 Green Architecture (Philosophy of Sustainable Design)
Read: McLennan, 151-258
July 18 Green Architecture (Philosophy of Sustainable Design)
Read: Pearson, 8-76
July 23 Green Architecture (Case Studies)
Read: Pearson, 77-141
Writing Project #2 Due
July 25 Green Architecture (Case Studies)
Read: Pearson, 142-274
July 30 Green Architecture (Case Studies)
August 1 Project Presentations
Research Paper/Projects and Journal Due