The Greenest Building is the One Already Built

Trent Margrif
Day/Time Taught: 
MW 3:30-4:45 pm
Course Number: 

With the current focus on sustainability and "green," is there compatibility with historic preservation? Are existing buildings more environmentally friendly than those currently being produced by the green building industry? This seminar will explore sustainability as it relates to the built environment, and apply the concept of recycling to historic buildings. Building materials are not only the largest component of landfills in America; their operation is also the largest contributor to pollution in our atmosphere. Students will understand existing building stock locally, comparing historic and the most recently built "green" buildings. Exploration of the university's sustainability initiatives and Master Plan 20/20 in relation to buildings would be formulated, and student connections with faculty and local government are essential. Utilizing research and relevant real world situations, from local to international, is a strong focus of this seminar. The belief that a newly constructed "green" building is more energy efficient will be challenged and concepts of historic preservation and embodied energy will be explored in detail.

We will analyze specific building components such as windows, to the larger picture of planned eco-communities. This seminar is not an introduction to historic preservation. Rather, the course encourages students to think critically regarding a public perception of “green” they likely accept without any additional analysis: is the greenest building the one already built? Students will communicate their reasoned responses to this question, and why the built environment is the single most important component to any goal of being a more environmentally friendly society.


Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Dr. Martha McCaughey

QEP Global Learning