Course Description and Outline

CPD 126: Getting to Green – Energy Efficient and Sustainable Housing

Pre-requisite: None.

This two lesson course helps consumers, real estate professionals, and government recognize the benefits of energy efficient and sustainable real estate - buildings that are energy-efficient, water-efficient, designed for healthy living, constructed of low-impact materials that do not compromise the building’s durability or performance, accessible to amenities, and protective of the local ecosystems.  The course focuses on "green" construction and building systems and the economic, governmental, and market drivers.  The course examines tools for advancing green building technologies and success stories world-wide that demonstrate the potential for a greener future.

Course Outline

FOREWORD: Introduction To Professional Development Courses

LESSON 1: The A-B-C’s of Green Housing

  • Instructor’s Comments
  • Defining “Green” in a Real Estate Context
    • Energy Efficient
    • Water Efficient
    • Low-Impact, Durable Building Materials — The Six Rs
    • Form and Function for Healthy Living
    • Accessible to Amenities
    • Protective of Local Ecosystems
  • What are the Benefits of Building “Green”?
    • Benefits for Communities
    • Benefits for Residents
    • Benefits for Property Owners
    • Benefits for Real Estate Professionals
  • Building Science 101: “House as a System”
    • Building Envelope and Mechanical Systems
    • Building Envelope
    • Mechanical Ventilation
    • High-Efficiency Heating
    • Domestic Hot Water Systems
    • Low-Flow Water Fixtures
    • Appliances
    • Lighting
    • Health and Safety Considerations
  • Extreme Green: Maximizing Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
    • Water Conservation
    • Composting Toilets
    • Zero Energy Design
    • Green Roofs
  • Conclusion
  • Review and Discussion Questions

LESSON 2: Getting to Green: Achieving Energy Efficient and Sustainable Housing

  • Instructor’s Comments
  • Barriers to “Going Green”
    • Slow Acceptance of Change
    • Steep Learning Curve
    • Greenwashing
    • Debating Green, Greener, Greenest
    • The Split Incentive — Who Pays and Who Benefits?
  • Single Versus Triple Bottom Line Accounting
  • Green Value and Real Property Appraisal
    • The Economic Bottom Line
    • Longer-Term Accounting: Lifecycle Cost Assessment
    • Evaluating the Social Bottom Line
    • Evaluating the Environmental Bottom Line
    • Summing Up: Evaluating the Triple Bottom Line
  • Tools for Advancing Green Buildings
    • Breaking the Cycle of Blame
    • Increased Education and Awareness
    • Third Party Certifications for Products
    • Third Party Certifications for Buildings
    • Third Party Certification for Multi-Unit Residential Buildings
    • Builder and Owner Incentives and Rebates
    • Greener Building Codes and Other Legislation
    • Green Lending, Insurance, and Tax Exemptions
  • Conclusion
  • Review and Discussion Questions


  • The Final Examination

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