Sustainable Architecture

Program Description

Students enrolled in the CTHSS Sustainable Architecture program are given instruction in and demonstrate skills and knowledge for entry-level employment in the rapidly changing area of sustainable building technologies. Students will be instructed in program safety and the proper use and care of drafting tools and equipment. Students learn basic drafting skills, including standard drawing conventions and principles, which allows them to communicate graphically. They will understand how a residential building is constructed and become familiar with the various building materials that are used in its construction while making it energy efficient and having a low-impact on the environment. Students will learn the meaning of sustainable, why it is important in today’s building industry, and the various evaluation instruments that are used to create a sustainable building such as LEED, Green Globes, and Energy Star.

Students advance by learning basic design standards and building codes. These include various high performance building standards, site analysis, study of the various mechanical systems that are incorporated into a structure, and energy audits. Instruction also includes knowledge of engineered lumber, foundation types, site plans, roof designs, ceiling designs, section drawings, masonry, electrical fixtures, electrical loading and circuits, septic, well and city water, and electrical and plumbing codes.

Students can choose to further their education at numerous colleges and universities across the country in order to obtain a two-year or four-year degree in the areas of architectural, structural, or civil engineering. A five-year program within a school of architecture leads to licensure as an architect.

Students receive 540 hours of instruction in the career/technical program each year.

Students are eligible to participate in Work-Based Learning (WBL) in grades 11 & 12. This program allows companies to hire students during the school day to work in an office environment and in the field. Students will get credit for their work experience and it is an important pipeline for getting our students into industry.

To learn more about our program offerings, please view our Program of Studies.

Program Standards

  • Demonstrate workplace readiness by identifying career options, developing interpersonal skills, and applying industry principles and practices.
  • Implement “whole building design” through an integrated design approach and integrated team process.
  • Choose building site locations that promote environmentally responsible land-use patterns and neighborhoods.
  • Incorporate building structures onto sites that support long-term effects to local and regional ecosystems.
  • Understand and integrate high performance building hydrologic strategies to support sustainable design.
  • Understand and integrate design and construction practices to reduce energy usage and minimize carbon emissions.
  • Select building materials and practices that encourage conservation of resources; minimizes waste and environmental impact.
  • Understand the benefits of using design, manufacturing, and construction practices that promote high indoor environmental quality.
  • Understand and promote the importance of operating and maintaining the built environment according to the current LEED rating system. 


Industry Certifications

  • Autodesk ® Building Performance Analysis (BPAP) certificate


Career Pathways

  • Engineering Technician
  • Computer-Aided Architectural Design/Drafter
  • Illustrator
  • Architectural/Civil/Structural Engineer
  • Architect


Program Locations in CT