Healthful, Sustainable Design in Community-Engaged Architecture Education

Clarissa F. Albrecht, Lisa D. Iulo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Chronic diseases are the number one cause of death and disability; becoming increasingly prevalent across all ages and demographics. However, they are often preventable, in part through lifestyle management. Community and building design have a role to play in allowing for lifestyle choices that can improve human health, including physical environments that encourage regular exercise or improved nutrition. Moreover, according to the World Health Organization, climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health—clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food, and secure shelter among other factors. Therefore, reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through better transport, food and energy-use choices can result in improved health, particularly through reduced air pollution. These principles are closely linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, sustainable development criteria—including USGBC LEED, ILFI Living Building Challenge, and WELL Building Standard, present educational tools through which students can begin to understand and address these goals. Adding to that, meaningful learning happens though thoughtful application of concepts driven by real-world issues faced by communities and community members. Here, three classes and partnerships are presented to illustrate the tools and approaches applied in an architectural design education for sustainability and resilience at a major US university. Emphasis in the class is placed on developing a holistic architecture—recognizing interconnected and life-sustaining relationships between food, energy, and water, people, and their environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWorld Sustainability Series
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameWorld Sustainability Series
ISSN (Print)2199-7373
ISSN (Electronic)2199-7381

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Environmental Science

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