Healthier Materials and Sustainable Buildings (Online)

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    Certificate Requirements

    • Course requirements: 4 online courses.
    • Timeline to completion: Each of these self-guided short courses can be completed in two weeks' time. Students can complete each course at their own pace. Courses should be taken in the order in which they are listed if a certificate is desired. Depending on available time, all four courses can be completed within one or two semesters.
    • Cost: $50 per course; $200 total cost.

    Promote healthier environments. Developed by Parsons’ Healthy Materials Lab, this program serves professionals working in the field and students in Parsons degree programs. Courses offer practical information on designing interiors that preserve health through carefully selected material components. 

    The four courses cover information required for the design of more healthful interiors. Learning benefits and outcomes include the ability to identify and compare products and materials used in the built environment; explain the importance of designing with non-toxic materials; evaluate products and materials, identifying hazards and comparing suitable options; set criteria; analyze product information; and specify materials according to established criteria.

    Required Courses

    1) Materials and Human Health

    This course explores the impact that building materials can have on human health, demonstrating systemic intricacies that will challenge students to keep asking questions while offering suggestions for addressing these issues in their work.

    2) Building Products and Chemistry

    This course introduces students to the fundamentals of chemistry, enabling them to understand why particular outcomes and health impacts are produced. It introduces students to chemicals of concern and more healthful alternatives that are being formulated by green chemists. It asks how project health goals can be outlined and informed decisions made on the basis of these findings.

    3) Healthier Materials Design and Specifications 

    This course helps designers navigate industry resources and certifications, find and evaluate product options, and apply resources for maximum impact. We look at methods for targeting specific issues in a project and generalized strategies that can apply more broadly, highlighting potential benefits and consequences of employing different approaches.

    4) Executing a Healthier Project

    This course deals with the full process of creating healthier buildings, covering challenges encountered throughout design, construction, maintenance, and operation. The course is framed as a collection of lessons learned through experience that help professionals become better informed, enabling them make decisions with an overall awareness of the protocols for healthier design.