Freshman Seminar - Resources and the Built Environment: Design and Build a “Green” Structure - CANCELED

This seminar is not just for freshmen interested in architecture. The issues and technology we'll be exploring are relevant to all majors.

The built environment is the source of both the most pressing challenges and greatest opportunities for addressing global climate change, critical resource constraints and shifting demographic, political and socioeconomic realities in the 21st century. The need to reduce energy use and C02 emissions will become even more critical as the urban population doubles from 3 to 6 billion in the coming decades, mostly in developing nations.

In this seminar, we will tackle some of these urgent issues as we actually design and build our own (very) small off-the-grid, high performance building. We'll begin with an examination of the best opportunities for addressing global resource constraints through improvements to the built environment. You'll learn about the principles of "green" buildings and ecologically sensitive design, and consider ways in which the built environment can be improved and fundamentally altered to contribute to a more resource-efficient and ecologically sensitive future. Starting from the fundamentals of building science, we will use interactive demonstrations, in-class exercises, visits to buildings on campus, and other activities to outline the performance of buildings and establish an understanding of the material and energy intensity of the built environment. The culmination of our work is a state-of-the-art example of a built environment.

For more information: http://mitworld.mit.edu/speaker/view/758

John Fernandez is a practicing architect and Head of the Building Technology Program in the Department of Architecture. He received his Bachelor's in Art and Design (Architecture) from MIT and a Master's in Architecture from Princeton University. His research has been in the area of new materials for high performance buildings and recently in the development of the field of urban metabolism: the study of the resource requirements of human settlements and cities. He has been active with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), the International Society of Industrial Ecology, the United Nations Environment Programme, the MIT Portugal Program and recently, the new Singapore University of Technology and Design. Prof. Fernandez has designed numerous award-winning buildings and consults for a number of building material and systems companies.