Skip to main contentSkip Navigation or Skip to Content
Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

ARET 4111: Green Building Rating Systems

Green building rating systems attempt to measure how sustainable a building is using a variety of different requirements and metrics. In this course, students will survey a number of ratings systems currently used by building professionals as a way to learn about the different strategies and technologies that are currently employed to make buildings more sustainable. The history of the various systems will be studied so that the students can see the evolution of the green building movement. Issues such as climate, building size, energy modelling, third party certification, and life cycle analysis will be discussed, so that current green building practice can be put into context. The various rating systems will be compared and contrasted to see which are most applicable to a given project.

Learning outcomes

  1. Describe the history and evolution of ratings systems and their importance in the green building movement.
  2. Evaluate a project and identify the most applicable green building rating system.
  3. Apply a green building rating system to determine the level of sustainability of a building project.
  4. Recommend to a project team suitable strategies that will improve the sustainability of a given building.
  5. Prepare project documentation that clearly demonstrates sustainability performance to stakeholders.
  6. Reflect on their own personal experiences and biases and identify how they influence your approach to sustainable buildings.

Course topics

Module 1: Introduction to Green Building Rating Systems

Module 2: Green Building Rating System Landscape

Module 3: Location and Transportation

Module 4: Sustainable Sites and Water Efficiency

Module 5: Energy and Atmosphere

Module 6: Materials and Resources

Module 7: Indoor Environmental Quality

Module 8: Green Building Rating System Processes

Required text and materials

Students will need to source the following E-Textbook on their own at a cost of approximately $90.00 USD:

  1. U.S. Green Building Council. (2014). LEED core concepts guide (3rd ed.).

Note: You will need to purchase a copy through the linked website. If you have questions about course textbooks or other materials, email OLMaterials.


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1: Selecting a Building and Rating System 20%
Assignment 2: Understanding Your Building 20%
Assignment 3: Completing the Picture 20%
Quizzes 20%
Final Exam (mandatory) 20%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

Search To Top