My Resilient Design course at BAC starts up soon

Posted by on Mar 13, 2015

BAC_Secondary_LogoFor the past two years, I’ve been teaching the online course, Resilient Design, through Boston Architectural College (BAC). The eight-week course runs from March 23 to May 16, 2015 and is limited to 15 students. It’s a great opportunity to dig into the issue of resilience at both a building scale and a community scale and to participate in in-depth online discussions.

The course is offered through BAC’s Sustainable Design Institute and earns 1.5 credits that can be used towards a Masters in Design Studies or simply taken as continuing education.

Here’s the course description from BAC:

Resilience is the ability of a system to bounce back from disruptions or interruptions. As climate change advances, we will face increased storm intensity, flooding, heat waves, drought, and wildfire, while terrorism or political strife could result in extended power outages and interruptions in heating or transportation fuels. To prepare for these risks, buildings and communities should be designed to be more resilient. This online course will examine both the context for resilience and practical strategies for achieving resilient buildings and communities. Elements include the siting of buildings and infrastructure to protect against flooding, land-use planning to ensure functionality in the event of gasoline shortages, high-performance building designs that will maintain livable conditions during extended power outages or loss of heating fuel, water supply and delivery options for times of drought or power outages, and renewable energy systems that can function during power outages. All of these measures also contribute to sustainability.

For more on the course, visit the BAC website. Use the comment field below to ask questions about the course, and I’ll do my best to respond.


  1. Hey Alex , would love to do the course. But i have too much on my plate over the next 3 three months. But would like the opportuntiy to do in the future.
    Keep up the great work.

    Travis Faulkner
    Eco Warrior
    Newfoundland, Canada

  2. Are there recent reviews of the Resilient Design course available from Architects or others who have completed the course?
    Is the course approved under AIA professional development?

    • Hi Louis, I direct the Sustainable Design Institute at the BAC and can answer your questions. We don’t have reviews that are public but Alex can probably give examples of how this course has been a productive experience for architects. About 50% of the students in this course have historically been architects.

      The majority of our courses are eligible for AIA CEUs. Since this course started in the last year and a half, we are still in the approval phase. The other courses available for 27 HSW credits are here:
      I’m confident that this course will qualify but will not be for this term.

      • Correction to the comment above, the courses listed in the link are available for 24 HSW credits, not 27 as I originally wrote. Apologies!

  3. Is there any way to audit the course, or get a discount as a non-profit? Thanks!

    • Hi Gabriole,

      I direct the Sustainable Design Institute at the BAC and work with Alex to deliver this course. We have an audit option for $1121. This will grant you full access to the course but will not give you academic credit upon successful completion. We don’t have a Non-Profit discount. Hope this helps!

  4. I took Alex’s class at BAC last semester. Great class! It was engaging, well- organized and the reading material was interesting. I have taken almost 8 courses at BAC and this is a top 3! Highly recommend.

    • Thanks Meghan!

  5. I am a BAC student and planning professional who also completed Alex’s course. I highly recommend this course to others who are interested in resilient design. The course provides a great foundation and the reading materials and course exercises challenge you to apply ideas through your own experiences. Another unique thing about this course is that it also explores the community and social impacts that climate adaptation strategies and resilient design can have. Often these interdependencies are overlooked or inadequately addressed when organizations begin planning for climate change. This course is proving invaluable as my own organization begins analyzing its own portfolio through a strategic initiative that will likely include a vulnerability assessment, plan development and prioritized implementation process.


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