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Course Information: ARCH 4621
Department of Architecture, Cornell University

ARCH 4621 Sustainable Architecture: the Science and Politics of Green Building

Spring 2021

Jonathan Ochshorn

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Assignment for week 11

Read the following:

  1. Gross and Dodge, Clean Water Act, chapter 2 (History of the Clean Water Act) and chapter 3 (General Prohibition of Discharges)

  2. Outwater, Water: A Natural history, Chapter 11 (What Sludge Tells You)

  3. Howe, "Wall Street Eyes Billions in the Colorado's Water," NY Times, Jan. 3, 2021

  4. LEED reference guide v.4, credits and prerequisites related to Water

Optional: Dave Barry, "Focus on Canadian Toilets" (parody, humor) available online.

Optional: Clean water act in the news, from 2014 (NY Times), 2015 "Farmers Put Down the Plow for More Productive Soil," NY Times (a reference to the 2010 Clean Water Act can be found towards the end of the article), and, from 2017, in the era of Trump (NY Times).

Optional: My critique of the LEED guidelines for Water (first part only).

For all students:

Writing assignment (only for selected students)

  1. Did the Clean Water Act achieve its objectives? Compare the chapters from Gross and Dodge and Outwater. What underlying assumptions about economics, politics, morality, science, and sustainability can be inferred from Howe's essay in the NY Times? Do the LEED credits for "water" have any relevance to the issues raised by the Clean Water Act or the fight over Colorado river water rights?

  2. Be prepared to read (or otherwise present) a condensed version of your paper in class (7–10 minutes).

  3. Paper should be 1000–1300 words, or approximately 3–4 typed pages, 1.5 line spacing.

For all students except those selected for the writing assignment.

Write a short (1-paragraph) response to a sentence extracted from one of the readings that you found interesting or provocative. Provide a footnote citation for the quotation you have chosen using the "notes and bibliography system."1

Copyright 2017–2021 J. Ochshorn. All rights reserved. First posted: 26 September 2017 | last updated: 18 February 2021

1 You can find information on citations in the Chicago Manual of Style. (You can leave out page numbers.)