The SBA Program is delivered face-to-face in the classroom and on field trips. To complement this face-to-face education, the SBA Program utilizes an online education platform called Moodle. All students enrolled in the Program benefit from the ease of access to materials, calendars, assignments, group exchange, online forums, and website links to guest instructors, team projects and field trips.
The online platform is a wonderful tool to help students stay organized and be in touch with fellow students and their instructors.

Sustainable Building Courses and Curriculum

For Green Building Professionals

The SBA Program curriculum is a comprehensive study of green building design delivered in an interactive format that includes lectures by subject experts, hands-on exercises, field trips to local green building projects and online learning. Additionally, students work together on a team project that involves research, discussion, integrated planning, written results and a formal presentation. Passing the final exam earns students a Certificate in Sustainable Building Advising, CSBA.

The Sustainable Building Advisor Program curriculum is currently available in Canada in three locations: Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. It is also available in four locations in the United States: Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle. The SBA Program curriculum includes the following sustainable building certification units:

Unit 1: Fundamentals of Sustainable Building and Design

The case and rationale for sustainable building

  • A view of the current state of green building in this region and across the nation
  • Integrative Design Process, Charrettes and Integrated Project Delivery
  • Review of prominent green building rating systems
  • An introduction to the practicum project

Unit 2: The Importance of Place: Site, Transportation and Land Use Issues

Strategies for placemaking

  • An understanding of sustainable site design
  • Sustainable site analysis and conduct a site assessment
  • Importance of transportation planning, siting, relationship to sustainability
  • Strategies to achieve sustainable transportation patterns and site development

Unit 3: Energy Efficient Design

The effect of building energy systems on the human experience and the global environment

  • The value of contextual, holistic approach to building energy system design
  • Interaction between a building, its occupants and the local climate
  • Understanding the building science of shading, daylight, orientation and building envelope
  • Fundamental building energy systems, including HVAC, lighting and renewable technologies

Unit 4: “Green” Materials Selection

Factors in material selection and the issue of trade-offs

  • Resources to assist in determining materials appropriateness
  • Analytical process to evaluate materials for a project including
  • Understanding Life Cycle Analysis and Embodied Energy
  • Considerations for structural materials selection, including advanced framing

Unit 5: Indoor Environmental Quality & Health

Benefits of improving indoor environmental quality

  • Innovative ventilation system design strategies
  • Linkages between health, well-being and productivity
  • Barriers and solutions to achieving good indoor air and acoustical comfort
  • Physical, psychological and financial benefits of daylight and view

Unit 6: Water and Site Design

Benefits of adopting a natural systems-based approach

  • Impact reduction through landscape layout, plant selection and placement
  • On-site management methods for storm water and wastewater
  • Water catchment, greywater and living systems
  • Indoor water conservation

Unit 7: Sustainable Job Site Operations

Construction waste management, site protection and IAQ protection

  • Opportunities for deconstruction and reuse
  • Benefits of Building Information Modeling (BIM)
  • Active construction project site-tour

Unit 8: Building Operations and Maintenance

Facility management (FM) functions

  • Building Commission (Cx) and its critical importance to the performance of a building
  • Effective operations, maintenance and procurement
  • Home performance testing and improvements

Unit 9: Team Projects

The culmination and heart of the SBA program, the team projects are presented to the class and faculty. Projects showcase students’ learning and effort throughout the course:

  • Professional communication skills
  • Collaboration skills
  • Substantive content learned in units 1-8