September 3 – December 20, 2013
Can an old building find a new, more sustainable life
- Renovated from the ground up by a group of students from diverse backgrounds
- To the highest professional standards
- Under real-world conditions, on time and on budget?
Yes. Register Now!
Our 4-month full-time Renovations certificate program involves you in every aspect of renovating an existing building to bring it new life and high standards of sustainability. From simple natural building materials to state-of-the-art energy systems, our students experience the learning that comes from being responsible for all aspects of a renovation, from planning and budgeting to fine finishes and systems commissioning. Interacting with experienced builders and tradespeople, students work with designs, materials and technologies that are at the forefront of sustainable renovations.
The learning experience suits the seasoned building professional and the excited newcomer alike. The diversity of students in our classes creates a unique atmosphere of cooperation, shared learning and partnership.
This experience can put you on the path to a future in sustainable renovations, from first-time home-owner to general contractor.
Our programs blend classroom time with full-time engagement on the construction site. Classroom sessions are taught by experienced instructors and include:
Jobsite Experience (70% of program)
Meaningful job site experience is at the heart of the Renovation program. We believe in putting our students in roles of individual responsibility within a cooperative, team-based approach to construction. Students will have direct roles in setting policies, selecting and purchasing materials, working with licensed professionals and building/installing components.
Roles for students in our projects include:
- Building assessment, budget coordination, purchasing, photo and video documentation, health and safety, site coordination, waste and recycling coordination, tool maintenance, media relations, web sites and blogging, managing rating systems, creating owner’s manuals, sourcing recycled building materials, and more…
- A range of approaches to, and materials for, foundations, floors, exterior walls, plasters, roof framing and sheathing, windows, doors, trim and siding, insulation, flashings, interior partitions, cabinetry and fixtures, natural finishes and more…
- Renewable energy, rain water collection, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, composting toilets, grey water treatment, air tightness and quality control, passive systems, lighting and more…
Classroom Modules (30% of program)
Our Existing Buildings and What Can Be Done With Them
- Discovering the history of our common building styles and materials is critical to knowing how best to change them for the better. This module covers historical building approaches, the working language and terminology of the sustainable renovations field and a primer in the technologies currently in use to green existing buildings.
- Learn about a wide variety of home renovation programs and the philosophy, principles and approaches to achieving sustainable renovations.
- Successful sustainable renovations put good building science to use. This module introduces building science and provides the “thinking platform” that will inform our entire building process.
- Learn about heat and moisture flows, energy modeling and a thorough building science approach to design and construction for highest performance levels, durability and occupant health and comfort.
- Buildings are complex structural systems. This module examines structural principles and how we can put those into practice to create strong, durable buildings.
- Learn about a wide range of natural building materials and approaches, from earthbag to straw bale to advanced framing.
Renewable Energy & Mechanical Systems
- Resilient buildings incorporate passive technologies with renewable energy to create buildings with minimal environmental impacts. This module takes a holistic approach to the design and integration of a building’s mechanical systems.
- Learn about a wide range of renewable energy, heating, cooling, ventilation, water and waste strategies and systems.
Reading Construction Plans
- The conversation between designer and builder is based on the construction drawings. This module helps to bring drawings to life and enables you to read, understand and modify drawings.
- Learn about the complete construction plan process, from client interviews to drafting to material take-offs.
The Art of Natural Building
- Beauty is integral to building, and beautiful buildings are visually exciting, nurturing and inspiring. This module explores the pursuit of beauty in building in theory and in practice.
- Learn an artistic approach to crafting materials, and many ways of using beautiful natural finishes.
The Business of Sustainable Building
- It will take dedicated sustainable builders to affect real change in our renovation industry. This module brings professionalism and sustainable renovating together.
- Learn how the renovation business works, and how sustainable renovators can make real change while earning a sustainable living.
Worksite Health & Safety
- Health and safety are as important in sustainable building as in any kind of construction. This module offers several key safety certifications and training in job site procedure and safety.
- Learn how to function safely in a wide variety of job site scenarios, from identifying hazardous materials to proper use of personal safety equipment and scaffolding.
There are no prerequisites for the renovations program. The curriculum is designed to accommodate those with lots of construction experience as well as those with little or no building background. A high degree of self-motivation and an eagerness to learn are the most valuable attributes for those considering this program.
Maximum class size