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Sustainable Building & LEED Certification (Graduate)

Number: ECO 697DL
Credits: 3
Format: In person, Online, UWW (CPE), Amherst, Mount Ida

Semester: Fall, Spring, Summer 2
Meeting Times: Mon. 5:30 - 8:00 (spring), Online (fall/Mt. Ida & summer/Amherst)
Room: Olver Design Building 162 (spring)

LMS Link


Ho-Sung Kim,

Lecturer & Chief Undergraduate Advisor

Office: Olver Design Building 320
Phone: +1 (413) 545-1970
Email: kimhs@umass.edu

Office Hours | Faculty Page | LinkedIn

Paul Wolff,


Office: Mount Ida Campus
Email: pwolff@umass.edu

Office Hours | Faculty Page | LinkedIn

Course Description

This course explores the main building certification systems such as LEED, WELL, Living Building Challenge, Green Globes and Passive House. Through instructor-led, individual and collaborative exercises, discover the core concepts and standards related to high performance building systems and interact with front-line practitioners. Learners select one certification system for focused study and/or to prepare for a chosen professional credential exam. Course delivery will also include state of the art technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), mixed reality, interactive videos and branching scenarios to immerse students in new learning environments. All the while, students are encouraged to work on hands-on projects that relate to their professional experiences

Undergraduate students: Register for BCT 414 instead.

Learning Goals

  • Identify the impacts that buildings have on the environment
  • Illustrate the benefits of using sustainable building certification programs 
  • Articulate core components of programs (LBC Core Imperatives, the WELL Knowledge Domains, the LEED Neighborhood Development Credit Categories and Quality Criteria for Passive House)
  • Construct a matrix that differentiates between programs
  • Devise a hands-on display/exhibit or research project that conveys key tenants of a selected sustainable building certification program or prepare for the associated industry credential exam


LEED core concepts guide: an introduction to LEED and green building, 3rd Edition (2014). U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, DC. ISBN 978-1932444322.

LEED reference guide for building design and construction (2013). U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, DC. ISBN 978-1932444186.

McCombs, H. (2014). LEED Green Associate Exam Preparation Guide, LEED v4 Edition. American Technical Publishers, Orland Park, IL. ISBN 978-0826912947.

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