Sustainable Design: Drawing a New Future

Program starting in 2017!

This program is currently undergoing curriculum development to be offered in an online format beginning in 2016.

If you are interested in this program, please contact us and we will make you part of our development survey to ensure that the program meets your needs.

Course Overview

Our Sustainable Design program gives you the opportunity to undertake a complete building design for a real-world client under the guidance of experienced design professionals. From setting goals with the client to creating a complete set of construction drawings, you will learn a holistic approach to building design that blends your client’s needs with sustainable principles to create plans that are practical and beautiful.

The learning experience suits design professionals and will expand and enhance your ability to incorporate sustainability into your work. Newcomers can also benefit from this program, but must meet some entry prerequisites before participating.

This experience engages you with a real-world client, and provides opportunities to continue this relationship on a professional level upon completing the program and to benefit from networking and portfolio building for a future in sustainable building design.

Curriculum outline

The Sustainable Design program is an all-new offering, and the curriculum is still in development. If you are interested in this program, please contact us. We are inviting input from potential instructors and students to finalize the curriculum.

Our program will blend interaction with clients, engagement with instructors, studio time and professional certifications, and is intended to include:

Client Interaction

A real client is engaged with you to collaborate on the design for a building project they intend to complete. Endeavour will provide potential clients, or you may find a client of your own choosing.

Learn about setting sustainable goals, interviewing techniques and collaborative design processes as well as creating contracts, communications and dispute-resolution techniques.

Building Science

Successful sustainable buildings put good building science to use. This module introduces building science and provides the “thinking platform” that will inform our entire design process.

Learn about heat and moisture flows, energy modeling and a thorough building science approach to design for highest performance levels, durability and occupant health and comfort.

Building Structure

Buildings are complex structural systems. This module examines structural principles and how we can use these to create sound building plans.

Learn about design for a wide range of natural building materials and approaches, from earthbag to straw bale to timber 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 of a building’s mechanical systems.

Learn about a wide range of renewable energy, heating, cooling, ventilation, water and waste strategies and systems.


Your plans are at the centre of the conversation between designer and builder. This module provides opportunity to learn new drafting software and improve your drafting skills. (Exemptions from this module are possible.)

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 your specific project.

Learn an artistic approach to crafting materials, and many ways of using beautiful natural finishes.

The Business of Sustainable Design

Sustainable design professionals can affect real change in our construction industry. This module brings professionalism and sustainable design together.

Learn how the design business works, and how designers can make real change while earning a sustainable living.

Professional Certifications

Certifications give design professionals credentials that can help attract clients and see projects through to completion. This module includes several training and certification programs including:

  • Ontario BCIN (Building Code Information Number) training, which allows you to work professionally as a residential and small-scale commercial building designer in the province. We will offer General Legal and Small Building courses and exams.
  • LEED AP training
  • Bau-Biologie training
  • PassivHaus training
  • Energy modelling training

Entry Requirements

The design program requires participants to have a functional knowledge of building design and drafting, although no formal certifications are required. If you have drafting, architectural or engineering training you will have no problems with the curriculum. If you have a working familiarity with construction drawings as a builder or self-taught designer, you should also be able to participate. Contact us to discuss your background. We can suggest routes to get sufficient training if you currently have little or no experience.



Maximum class size