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  • Sustainability

Sustainability Initiatives in the School involve students, faculty and staff in coursework, an interdisciplinary Minor in Sustainability Studies, a Study Abroad program supported by a Fulbright-Hays grant, Public Events, and  facilities--involve all aspects of programs and operations in Architecture and Historic Preservation

SAAHP full time faculty, Teaching Firms in Residence, Adjunct and Global Fellows contribute to an array of sustainability coursework and to the Minor in Sustainability, Advanced and Graduate Design Studios, and Advanced and Graduate Architecture Electives.

Programs and Coursework

  • Minor in Sustainability Studies—the University offers an interdisciplinary minor with coursework drawing from programs across the University. The Minor is very popular among architecture and historic preservation students.
  • Turkey Sustainability Study Abroad Programsupported by a Fulbright-Hays grant, Architecture faculty member Ulker Copur, Professor of Architecture leads a Summer Program involving in a 3-week sustainability course including RWU Faculty in Architecture, Historic Preservation, Anthropology, Sociology, Engineering, Construction Management, Environmental Sciences, as well as faculty from Istanbul Technical University and Middle East Technical University, Ankara.
  • Arch 530 HOK Sustainable Design Seminar, taught by international sustainability leader HOK firm members from Washington, New York and Toronto teach a course focusing on the firm’s approach to the issues.  Sustainability Practice Area Leader Anica Landreneau from Washington, along with Principal Bill Hellmuth, FAIA, New York; and Director of Integrated Practice Gerry Faubert, Toronto lead classroom sessions, workshops, and field trips including visits to HOK projects in the northeast, and to the New York Office. The firm’s landmark text, The HOK Guide to Sustainable Design (Wiley), is a course text.
  • Arch 530 Sustainable Density, taught by Architecture Teaching Firm in Residence Bart Mispelblom Beyer and Charlotte ten Dijke of Tangram Architekten, Amsterdam, approaches density as a prime element in sustainable futures. The firm’s manuscript, Balance: The Third Dimension of Sustainability, serves as a course text, building on their previous book, Splendid Compact, published by The Netherlands Government. The firm continues the course in Fall 2011 when they will serve as SAAHP Global Fellows.
  • Arch 535 Detailing the High Performance Envelope, taught by Associate Professor Patrick Charles, addresses sustainable design through the development of high performance building skins. The course has included visits from Visiting Scholar Jo Ruoff, professor at Aachen, Germany, as well as consultants from Arup Associates, Boston.
  • HP 530 Sustainable Preservation, taught by Jean Carroon, FAIA, and Lisa Howe of Goody Clancy, Boston. Carroon’s book, Sustainable Preservation (Wiley), serves as a key text.
  • Advanced Architectural Design Studios led by Professors Ulker Copur and Edgar Adams regularly focus on ecological design and master planning, and transit-oriented development, with each including significant community engagement.
  • Graduate Design Studio led by 2009 Architecture Teaching Firm in Residence Sasaki Associates, Watertown focused on sustainable campus master planning which the firm is known for. Sasaki was the master planner of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Public Events

The University and SAAHP recently brought renowned international architect Ken Yeang, of Llewellyn Davies Yeang, London and Hamzah Yeang, Singapore, to RWU, along with noted national figures Leith Sharp of the Harvard Sustainable Campus Initiative, Vikram Bhatt of McGill University’s Center for Minimum Cost Housing. These supplement regular lectures and exhibitions in the SAAHP Public Events Series addressing sustainability issues.


Students working with the dean and Facilities Management have developed a school-wide sustainability program including Recycling Stations at eight locations in the building, paper recycling bins at each student’s desk and all offices and spaces in the SAAHP Building. SAAHP’ lecture hall was endowed in 2009 by the D.F. Pray Foundation as part of a $1million gift in support sustainability efforts. The lecture hall uses recycled materials throughout its finishes in its acoustical wall and ceiling paneling, carpet, fabrics as designed and selected by Kite Architects, Providence, who won a 2009 AIA Rhode Island Design Award for the work.