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RED 4604: Environmental and Sustainability Issues in Housing

This course explores environmental and sustainability issues in single and multifamily housing in the United States, including topics such as construction, site, lifestyle, energy and water consumption, waste, air quality, and toxic materials. Using social science theories, students will analyze issues of identity and equity as they relate to environmentally sustainable housing. Students will also explore current and future alternatives for the management of energy and water systems and the provision of environmentally sustainable housing.

Why take it?

Although historically taken by students seeking careers related to housing, this course is relevant to all students, as they will all face housing decisions in their futures. This course will allow them to consider factors such as the provision and cost of energy, water, electricity, sewage disposal, and storm water management, to name just a few. Additionally, students taking this course will be well-prepared to wield a political voice in the environmental and sustainability issues faced by their governments.

RED 4604 fulfills an elective in the Ecological Cities and Housing and Society Pathways minors.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

This course fulfills Pathways requirements in Reasoning in the Social Sciences, Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the Unites States, and Intercultural and Global Awareness.

“This was my favorite course I've taken so far and has opened my mind to the fact that as a future interior designer I could help make the environment a better place through incorporating sustainable techniques into plans. What we learned about this semester has driven me to want to minor in sustainability as well.”

“As the class progressed, I became intrigued by the curriculum and I no longer used attendance as my incentive to go to class. In terms of the curriculum, I figured this class was going to be taught by somebody who wore Birkenstocks on 20-degree days and would tell us to recycle our plastic water bottles on the way out of class. I have never been so happy to be wrong in my entire life. The material taught in this class was intriguing and applicable to today. In terms of Dr. Hopkins, she is extremely passionate about this issue and has made us aware of our negative impacts on earth. She didn't shame us, instead she encouraged us to be more environmentally friendly. It takes a special type of person to have that ability. She has inspired me to change my ways in order to leave less of a negative impact on earth which in turn makes me want to inform others on how they can do the same. When asked at the Property Management Career Fair what classes I was taking, I made an effort to mention this class and my newly founded desire to help the earth. Growing up I was always told to leave this place better than when I came into it and for the past 20 years, I have been trying to figure out how to do so. Although I may never solve world hunger, nor come up with a plan to solve world peace, I know that after taking this class my purpose has something to do with the ideologies discussed in class. And for that I owe thanks to Dr. Hopkins.”