BGI Offering: Certificate in Sustainable Built Environment

Bainbridge Graduate InstituteOur built environment affects every facet of our daily lives, the quality of the air we breathe inside our homes and offices, the way we use energy and water, the way we move about our neighborhoods, cities and towns and the way we interact with the community around us. A built environment that is thoughtfully and intentionally designed can encourage a thriving economy and a healthy lifestyle. The status quo of energy intensive buildings and poorly planned communities is no longer acceptable. BGI has crafted a four-quarter, one-year graduate certification to sharpen student’s skills so that they can be change agents who create a sustainable built environment. We will look at a variety of building scales, residential, mixed-use, commercial, industrial, rehabs and neighborhoods. We will examine cutting edge projects, learn from practitioners and look for business opportunities throughout the building industry. The course series includes an in-depth action learning practicum in which each student develops a project, such as a real estate development, a small business idea or improvement to an existing business and presents that project to a panel of industry leaders.


The instructors for the course bring a wealth of experience in the built environment. The course opens with grounding in sustainable building principles presented by Richard Graves, Executive Director of the International Living Futures Institute and his team. The International Living Futures Institute created the Living Building Challenge, which is pushing the edge of sustainable building into regenerative design. The course will additionally be taught by Mercy Rome, a real estate developer specializing in sustainable building. Mercy has developed commercial projects and mixed-use affordable housing projects, including the first LEED Gold affordable housing development in the country. Mercy earned her MBA from BGI. The course will include lectures and sessions from industry leaders, developers and building owners to present a robust body of knowledge and help students develop a strong network. The student community itself fosters a rich learning environment with each student’s own career history, keen insights and high caliber work products.

Who Can Benefit

Anyone already (or aspiring to be) in the sustainable building industry who wants to sharpen their skills and gain insight into the leading edge of sustainable building. This course will position individuals to establish their own businesses within the industry, or become project managers, sustainability experts or finance managers within the building industry. We prepare our students to think holistically, work in integrative teams, present compelling cases and speak cogently to champion change. This education can benefit individuals in positions such as design, engineering, project management, construction management, real estate development, real estate sales, property management, planning, construction, and other areas of the building industry.

Expected Results

The Certificate program’s objective is to prepare students to understand the foundations of ecological design and to create profitable real estate development projects from feasibility assessment through lease-up or sale. You will leave this program with hard financial skills, a strong network, a clear understanding of the process to get projects off the ground, and the confidence to ask the right questions, gather the right information, and make confident decisions.

More information here.