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KNOXVILLE — Architects and design professionals who want to become certified in sustainable or “green building” design can now complete an online continuing education program sponsored in part by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The College of Architecture and Design has formed a unique partnership with RedVector Inc., an online education provider, to offer the online certificate program.

“Sustainable design is the most wanted and needed proficiency in the design professions today. It is not simply a way to make standard practice better, but a whole new paradigm of thinking, designing and building,” said Mark DeKay, architecture professor and director of graduate studies for the College of Architecture and Design. DeKay and architecture professor Dick Kelso are the college’s co-editors and administrators of the program.

The Certificate in Sustainable Design and Green Buildings program consists of 72 hours. Education topics in the program include sustainability and measurement systems, environmental air quality, sustainable design materials and resources, and an integral approach to sustainable design theory. Many courses cover exam point categories and knowledge required for the LEED Accredited Professional exam given by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Written by industry leaders chosen by — and including — UT Knoxville architecture and design faculty, the 10 required courses in the initial program also are developed to help teach professionals how to incorporate green building and sustainable design concepts into actual design and construction projects.

DeKay and Kelso are among the architecture faculty writing courses for the program. DeKay wrote courses on integral sustainable design theory. Kelso wrote courses in sustainability measurement systems and indoor environmental quality.

Other faculty authors include Ted Shelton, who has written a course on sustainable sites; Tracy Moir-McClean, who has written a course on water systems; and Mary English, who has written a course on green design ethics.

“Some courses in the certificate program are designed to deepen technical knowledge, while others are written to expand the designing mind,” DeKay said. “What is distinguishing about these courses is that UT faculty authors, and experts we have recruited from around the country, all take a design perspective on sustainability that achieves environmental performance while also creating beautiful and meaningful architectural and landscape form.”

Kelso added, “As course authors in the program, this is a learning opportunity for our faculty and a chance for them to teach in a new environment and to expand their repertoire of subject matter.”

The involvement of the college and faculty members in the creation of course materials increases the college’s role in the continuing education of design professionals in the region and around the nation.

“This program is a wonderful way to strengthen the relationship between our college and design professionals. We offer continuing education credit through our lecture series, but this is a new level of involvement in the education of professionals,” said John McRae, dean of the college. “The expertise of our faculty is made more accessible to those seeking to advance their knowledge of sustainable design through this program.”

Upon completion, participants receive a certificate issued jointly by RedVector and UT Knoxville.

“It’s a sincere honor to be associated with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Architecture and Design,” said Victoria Zambito, vice president of content development at RedVector. “This is a unique partnership for RedVector. This online certificate program reinforces our commitment to the greening of the built environment, strengthens our leadership position in the online education market and provides an opportunity to create a premier product for green design space.”

The online certificate program has been nominated by The American Business Awards (ABA) for the 2009 People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite New Product. The general public can vote for their favorite products through the end of May at http://peopleschoice.stevieawards.com/default.cfm. Winners will be announced June 22 at the ABA awards banquet in New York.

For more information about the certificate program, visit http://greenbuilding.redvector.com/ or call (866) 686-6528.

About RedVector:

RedVector sets the standard of excellence in online continuing education for licensed and certified professionals in the engineering, architectural, construction and long-term health care industries. With courses authored by more than 100 subject matter experts and spanning all 50 states, RedVector serves more than 600,000 design and construction professionals. The recipient of numerous community honors and industry awards, the company is registered with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the USGBC. For more information, visit http://www.redvector.com.


Mark DeKay, (865-974-3249 or mdekay@utk.edu)
Dick Kelso, (865-974-3267 or rkelso1@utk.edu)
Kristi Hintz, (865-974-3993 or khintz@utk.edu)