Healthier Materials and Sustainable Buildings

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    Certificate Requirements

    • Course requirements: 4 online courses.
    • Timeline to completion: Courses last six weeks or less. Most students take two courses per semester. The certificate must be completed in two years.
    • Cost: $350 per course; $1,400 total cost.

    Developed by experts at Parsons’ Healthy Materials Lab, this certificate program is composed of four self-paced online courses. Courses 1 and 2 provide an introduction to key topics in the field for those with general or more specialized interests. Courses 3 and 4 are geared to practitioners in the built environment and those concerned with making a positive impact in product specification, installation, and maintenance. The program is intended to both complement existing Parsons degree programs and serve as continuing education for professionals.

    The four courses cover information required in the design of more healthful interiors. Learning benefits and outcomes include the ability to 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.

    Required Courses

    1) Materials and Human Health

    This course explores the impact that building materials can have on human health, demonstrating the 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 Material 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 universally, highlighting potential benefits and consequences of employing different approaches.

    4) Implementation and Execution

    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 professional experience to help professionals become better informed so that they can make decisions with an overall awareness of the protocols for healthier design.

    Learn more about the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons.