CVEN 4700/5700 Sustainability in the Built Environment - Spring 2008

Developing Sustainable Solutions for a Complex and Consuming World

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Instructor l Course Syllabus l Course Description l Course Goals
Important Policies l CU Web Sites of Interest l Journals

Instructor:                Bernard Amadei, Professor (ECOT 546)
                                  Tel: 303-492-7734; Cell: 303-929-8167

Course Syllabus:   Click here to download the course syllabus (PDF)
                                    Click here to watch video-recorded classes

Course Description

This course introduces undergraduate and graduate students to the fundamental concepts of sustainability and sustainable development. Emphasis is placed first on understanding natural systems, the interaction of the built environment (infrastructure) with natural systems, and the role of technical and non-technical (economic, social, ecological, ethical, philosophical, political, psychological, cultural) issues in shaping engineering decisions. Emphasis is placed on understanding the need to re-conceive and redevelop all human activity to be compatible with and enhance the natural systems of which they are a part.  Integral to this, is an understanding of system science and system thinking. Another emphasis of the course is to introduce students to a range of methods: methods to identify and select sustainable solutions to design problems; methods of improving existing solutions; and methods of reasoning. This course is designed to encourage students to think, and think from many different perspectives.  Students are asked to consider many aspects of a single “project,” such as the economic, physical/scientific, social, psychological, historical, ethical, political, cultural and ecological aspects, and how each of these influences the others.  

Course Goals

After completing the course, the students are expected to have:

bullet A greater awareness of their role as human beings and engineers on Earth;
bulletA better understanding of natural systems and how human-made structures adapt and adjust to natural systems and vice-versa; and
bulletNew skills and tools for finding common themes, developing connections, asking critical questions, providing more holistic answers to those questions, and for integrating economic, social, and environmental aspects into decision making.

Important Policies - Please Read

Classroom behavior policy:
Student honor code:

CU Web Sites of Interest

CU Schedule (fall 2007 - summer 2010)
Spring 2008 Final Exams Schedule
Final Exam Policy
Office of the Registrar

Journals on Sustainability

Sustainability Science, Springer Tokyo, Quarterly
Proceedings of the National Academies - Sustainability Science, The National Academies, Weekly
Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy (SSSP), Online, Semiannual

Journal of Environment, Development and Sustainability
Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Development
ICE Journal of Eng. Sustainability










Sustainability Related Courses at CU Boulder

Engineering for Developing Communities Program at CU Boulder

Sustainable and Appropriate Solution of the Month


Participatory Development Forum Newsletter

Forum on Science and Innovation for Sustainable Development

UN Daily News Wire

Engineers Forum on Sustainability

Solar Energy Intl.

Japan for Sustainability

Sustainable Practices

CU Energy Initiative

CU Environmental Center News