LA 499 winter 2012 Integrating Ecosystem Services

Coming to Cal Poly Pomona Winter quarter:

Ecosystem Services are defined as the direct and indirect economics benefits humans’ gain from natural processes.  The Sustainable Sites Initiative’s  landscape performance criteria are based on ecosystem services, while Living Building Challenge implicitly uses the concept too.  However, there are limited design tools that model ecosystem services to enable widespread integration into the built environment.

This seminar will explore the science behind ecosystem services valuation and the tools available to model landscape/urban performance.  Students will research performance indices, modeling procedures, and policies to further our ability to integrate these ecosystem services into the built environment.  There will be a term paper and student presentations.

Regeneration of our planet requires the creation of multi-functional places that integrate ecosystem services to create living buildings that are net-zero plus.  Zero+ refers to buildings and places that produce excess resources (i.e. energy, water, clean air, et cetera) over the period of a year, i.e. a surplus of ecosystem services.

Integrating ecosystem services into the built environment requires a holistic understanding of natural systems and sustainability science, in addition to traditional architecture and landscape architect design skills.  LA499 will focus on the practices and methods of integrating ecosystem services specific to building envelopes and urban landscapes. Green (rainwater) Infrastructure, Green Roofs/Walls, Urban Agriculture, and Urban Heat Island Mitigation, are all practices and systems that are included under umbrella of integrated ecosystem services, but there are many other services and systems that haven’t be considered yet, that the students of the course may uncover.

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One thought on “LA 499 winter 2012 Integrating Ecosystem Services

  1. Hey barry did you ever look into Harvard’s planned rating system
    for Sustainable Infrastructure ie : the Zofnass Program ?

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