Business Strategy, Economics, and Sustainability

This course aims to equip students with strategy and economic tools to be effective leaders of firms in the built environment. The primary topics covered in the curriculum are business strategy, an overview of the economics of sustainability in the built environment, and basic financial analysis of choices in sustainability initiatives as they impact the competitive strategy of organizations. The objective of this business-oriented course is to introduce and explore tools and concepts in leadership of organizations and in getting things done in practice. The course is designed primarily for architecture students interested in using these skills. Multiple situations covering different firms in the design and construction supply chain are explored.The course assumes that students have familiarity with design and technical aspects of sustainability and resource efficiency. This familiarity is built upon through examples of marketing, economic analysis, implementation, and entrepreneurship, particularly in commercial real estate settings. The course is taught by the case study method, emphasizing student discussion, participation and engagement. The goal is to become familiar with and to communicate the material. This approach also aims to incorporate and synthesize students\’ experience and learning from other courses and from practice. Most of the case studies and classes include some quantitative analysis but the course has no prerequisites. Grading is based on class participation, several short problem sets, and a final paper of not more than 10 pages. The course qualifies for partial satisfaction of professional practice requirements.