My Resilient Design course at BAC starts soon

Posted by on Jan 5, 2017

The online course, Resilient Design, that I’ve been teaching once or twice a year for the past three years, starts on January 17th. It’s an eight-week, graduate-level course that addresses key topics of resilient design, including vulnerabilities to storms and other natural disasters, and strategies for enhancing the resilience of our buildings and communities. The course is entirely “asynchronous,” meaning that students can participate in the discussion forums on their own time. The readings are drawn from various sources, but mostly from the Resilient Design Institute and The BuildingGreen Report (previously Environmental Building News).

Information on the course is available here. The course is offered through the Boston Architectural College’s Sustainable Design Institute. You will find information on registration at that site.

The abbreviated course schedule is as follows:

Week 1 – Resilience and Sustainability; course introduction

Definitions of resilience and resilient design

RDI’s Resilient Design Principles

How resilience relates to sustainability

Week 2 – Resilient Design for Buildings

Storms – wind, uplift

Flooding – flood zones, elevated living spaces, elevating mechanical & electrical, wetable building materials

Week 3 – Resilient Design for Buildings – Part II

Passive survivability

Building envelope design to maintain livable conditions without power or heating fuel

Week 4 – Resilient Design for Buildings – Part III

Passive solar design

Islandable solar power systems

Week 5 – Water Issues and Resilience

Water efficiency to reduce demand

Water storage

Rainwater harvesting

Alternative water pumping systems

Wastewater options for greater resilience

Week 6 – Community Resilience

Walkable, bikable communities


Functionality in the event of gasoline shortages

Social and cultural aspects of resilience

Week 7 – Other Aspects of Resilience

Food security and local agriculture

Resilient ecosystems – coastal restoration for protections, forest health with global warming (assisted migration of more southern species)

Week 8 – Course Wrap-up

If you have any questions, post them in the comment field below, and I’ll respond.

-Alex Wilson

One Comment

  1. Alex, I wanted to take this class last semester as it has direct connection to my Thesis topic, but it was not being offered last semester. I’d like to have a conversation with you if you have some time.

    John, M.Arch Candidate


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