Environment, Economics, and Enterprise

This course blends two shades of green: sustainability and money.  It focuses on the intersection between environmental and social opportunities in the built environment and the economic impact they have on the commercial enterprise ecosystem. It is taught through interdisciplinary exercises and discussion involving architectural design, environmental technology, simple energy modelling, urban economics and commercial real estate practices. How can one optimize the benefits of environmental or social sustainability while generating a higher return on investment in buildings, infrastructure or other forms of real estate? Where are the opportunities for real estate initiatives that are highly functional, healthy, aesthetically pleasing and financially rewarding?  The challenge to designers, developers, entrepreneurs, environmental consultants, policy-makers and other professionals lies in finding and communicating these synergies. This cross-disciplinary course will give students an approach to problem solving to help them contribute to thoughtful, high-impact decisions about design, construction, and enterprise formation that are environmentally, socially, and economically impactful to the broader urban environment. The course will cover various elements including:

1. Architectural design for sustainability and introduction to simple energy modeling,
2. Other aspects of environmental sustainability including health and welfare of tenants, social equities, neighborhood cultural optimization, regional economic vibrancy incorporating clean, healthy, and affordable living,
3. Financial and social quantification of economic impact and risks, 
4. Capitalization of sustainable projects including public and private equity, public and private debt, and social sponsors,
5. Financial evaluation and commercial pro forma analysis necessary to attract private capital,
6. Financial and pro forma analysis for public and nonprofit stakeholders and sponsors,
7. Development of an integrated business plan around sustainable projects. 

At the end of the course students will be able to:

a. identify sustainability opportunities for projects or potentially new businesses.  Identify sustainable/economic win-win solutions
b. develop, with rigor, the advanced sustainable design programs to enhance performance of a particular project or enterprise. 
c. model the environmental and economic impact of each proposed initiative independently as well as the cumulative initiatives taken together on a “systems basis”
d. translate enhanced design and idea conception into a project's or business’s  financial pro forma,  and communicate the financial impact clearly to market makers
e. complete accurate cost benefit economic analysis, with realistic assumptions on ability to finance and ability (if any) to obtain premium value on exit
f. analyze market demand for projects or appropriate businesses with and without enhanced sustainable design
g. explain their ideas in the language of decision-makers, from community groups to financial investors


Class Structure: Please visit my.Harvard to see the full note on the class format. 

Note: the instructor will offer live course presentations on 01/19-01/21. To acc