Design Studio: Ecological Design
Ecological Design has its own technologies, design principles and procedures that are radically different from traditional architectural practice. This class includes techniques of building with indigenous materials, design with site and sun for maximum sustainability, economies of using recycled materials, and design for environmental sensitivity.
This course is a series of seminars by leading figures in the green building and sustainable design movement. Past speakers have included: Allen Green, on Landscape Architecture and Community Activism; Eric Freed, Organic Architect, on green building design practice; Craig Henritzy, Indigenous Design; Eugene Tsui, architect, author of Evolutionary Architecture; Jay Baldwin, author of Buckyworks, on Bucky Fuller and visionary design methods.
Studio: Indigenous Green
Using Lessons From Indigenous Cultures to Design Green Building. Designing and building with the sun, alternative energy systems, and alternative materials; using planning, structures and forms inspired by indigenous architecture. The design project will be a new Ohlone Cultural Center. Instructor Craig Henritzy is an expert on Native American peoples, solar design, and alternative materials. He’s already nationally famous as the architect of “Sun Hawk,” the eco home for John Schaeffer of Real Goods and the Solar Living Institute. This class provides comprehensive design exercises in the theory and functional realities of the new wave of nature based architecture.
Design & Doing: Bringing Organic & Ecological Buildings Into Reality
This course looks at creative discipline, project analysis, visualization, design and management, for bringing projects of any size from vision into built reality. Includes real world, case study examples of client relationships, contracting, design-build, and multimedia means of project delivery. Emphasizing organic design in the urban context. This course may lead to work-study or intern opportunities.
The Mortgage Free Autonomous House
This is a directed research seminar rather than lecture format. The project is to compile all relevant information on how to build a prototype home that eliminates the need for outside energy, fuel for heating or cooling, water hookup, and sewer; minimal outlay of construction materials; and an interior garden to process waste and grow food.
Field Studies Of Green Buildings
Explore and document Bay Area green buildings for inclusion in an Internet Green Building Virtual Tour database. Learn documentation systems for analyzing the effectiveness of ecological design methods, alternative materials, environmental systems, and construction. Instruction will include digital photo documentation, audio interviewing, on-site surveys of ecological design features manufacturer/equipment research, and LEED rating credits. Much of this course will be field work at buildings to be studied requiring an average of 1 to 2 hours weekly. Field work to be scheduled with students after the first two meetings at SFIA.
Real World Problem Solving
Learn how to start doing something about the environmental problems of the world. Learn advanced methods of thought and action used by prime movers and the most creative people of our time. As you learn new methodologies, you’ll identify crucial issues and learn how to apply real-world problem-solving methods successfully, even with minimal resources. Problems to be solved include: homelessness, reducing U.S. energy consumption by half, establishing eco design centers in every city in the nation, identifying the common flaws of most major building types and correcting them, plus others of your choosing. This is one of the most important and personally useful classes offered at SFIA, and we encourage all students to enroll. Taking D-4 Creative Problem Solving prior to this course is useful but not required.
Living Roofs & Green Walls
Learn how to design, detail, and build one of the most important and widely accepted elements of green building — green roofs and facades. Green roofs will be required on most new and existing buildings (wherever practical to do so), in most major U.S. cities and around the world.
Indigenous Design for Creative Architecture
This design studio explores a wide range of Native American building traditions, principles of sustainable design, and the creative design process. Topics include: Principles of organic architectural planning, Design for site and climate: Native American construction methods, Systematic analysis systems for controlled passive solar design, Native astronomical alignment and solar path analysis, Solar orientation and dynamic design for the seasons’ climate conditions, day and night, Alternative construction materials such as Rastra, Developing a “green” plumbing plan, Berkeley City Center proposal, Ohlone Indian Center Eco Resort in Guatemala, based on Mayan designs. Also includes insights on the nuts-and-bolts practical issues of running a green-oriented architecture practice in the Bay Area.
Eco Village Design
From start to finish: the history and natural principles of successful eco villages. Gathering site, sun, and climate information, working with topography, the principles of land planning, landscaping, and creating and incorporating green buildings; green infrastructure — light and power, water supply, sewage and waste management (all waste is a resource); establishing design criteria, financing, and green community governance.
The Living Building Challenge Studio
The new Living Building Challenge is the most advanced green building rating system in the world. Our focus will be to design a Living Building project at a Bay Area location. We will study the background and structure of the Living Building Challenge. We will compare and contrast with the more mainstream LEED rating system. Performance areas we will work with: Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty. The class will be part research, part seminar, part design studio. This studio will provide a supportive and invigorating atmosphere for all levels of experience.
The sun is likely to become the dominant source of electrical energy in our time. The history of solar power, design methods, technology, installation, and case studies, how solar panels work. This course includes planning and installing solar systems in new and existing buildings, best practices for keeping costs down without sacrificing quality, tax credits, rebates, and other incentives, architectural integration of solar panels. Drawings required for permitting and construction. This course is a comprehensive “how-to” overview of one of today’s most effective and well-tested solutions to the world’s energy and petroleum problems.
Earth Building Design & Construction
Adobe, tamped earth, and earth-sheltered construction are far more accessible and versatile than most people realize. This class features case studies, design methods, basic construction techniques, and the unique aspects of the design practices of those who specialize in earth building.
Alternative Energy with Earth & Bamboo
Abundant natural and renewable materials can make great buildings. But you have to understand the nature and technology of earth, compressed earth brick, earth plasters, and the harvesting, preservation and extraordinary characteristics of bamboo. This course is a comprehensive introduction to the past and present best applications of these materials.
Greywater, Compost, Toxic & Healthy Environments
Buildings can recycle used water, process sewage, and instead of being the worst polluters, can be turned around to eliminate toxic waste, improve the environment and enhance health. Unfortunately, the approved ways of doing so are expensive and complex. Here’s how to do it safely, simply, and cheaply.
Eco Design Studio
Resilience is the theme of this course since it is at the core of the next generation of ecological design, both in physical planning and the community (and in our hearts and minds). We will explore this theme in realistic and creative design assignments. Designing for an actual inner Bay Area site, there will be options for you to pursue either a community master plan or a specific eco-building design. Studio class includes: Project Set up, Eco Design process, from program through presentation, Mixed-use and mixed-age development, Human behavior factors, Timeless natural energy techniques, Water, crops and trees for delight and sustenance. All are welcome to enroll. This design studio will provide a supportive and invigorating atmosphere for students at all levels of experience. There will be ample time for one-on-one discussion with the instructor and idea exchanges among all participants.
How to problem solve, plan, and design the transformation of existing buildings into showcase green environments. Using our facility as a case study, we’ll review the most creative possibilities of solar energy, daylighting, green roof and green walls, green ceilings, passive solar heating, greywater reclamation, interior plantscaping, rainwater harvesting, air cleansing, green finishes, and LEED and/or other types of green building certification.
The Grand Eco Design Experiment
Experimental design in urban ecology and methods of documentation of design work for website presentation and book publication. This course provides considerable practice in several remarkably effective and stimulating design methodologies.
Evolutionary Architecture: Design with Nature
This is a rare opportunity to study with the most forward thinking, green architect of our time, Dr. Eugene Tsui, author of the ground breaking book, Evolutionary Architecture. Eugene Tsui is one of the most widely published and sought after architectural speakers of our time. Dr. Tsui lives and works his creative vision like no one else on the planet, profoundly influencing thousands of architects and students on every continent. This is an extended, intensive design studio experience unlike any other. Topics include: Global catastrophic damage from not designing with nature, Lessons in design and engineering from millions of years of evolution, Understanding and using biomimicry, Designing as if you were nature, The methods behind today’s most forward thinking design projects, Nature-based design logic.
Biomimicry & Nature Based Design
Eugene Tsui deals with the world’s larger environmental problems and how to design its solutions. “Design as if you were Nature,” Says Eugene. This is a powerful principle that has made Eugene world famous as the most visionary nature-based architect of our time. It’s a rare privilege to have him teach for us, so I hope you can take advantage of it. This course focuses on the principles of biomimicry and nature’s architecture. The course will include a series of hands-on charette projects, to demonstrate the essential principles of visionary nature-based architecture.