Campus as a Living Lab Course Inventory

University of Toronto’s 2022-2023 Campus as a Living Lab (CLL) Course Inventory

The CLL course inventory includes 15 undergraduate and graduate courses that are being offered across the three campuses that include elements of CLL principles.

The four defining elements of a CLL course or project are:

  • Integrating core learning and research mission with campus planning and operations
  • Involving responsible use of U of T infrastructure for demonstration of and research on leading-edge solutions (technical and social)
  • Engaging researchers, students, faculty, instructors, operations staff, and potentially external partners
  • Having potential for knowledge transfer within and beyond U of T

The purpose of the CLL course inventory is to increase the visibility of such courses, and encourage expansion so more students will have opportunities to participate in a CLL course or project. This list of courses is a work in progress. If you are aware of a course that should be listed, please contact

To learn more about the concept and CECCS goals surrounding CLL, please visit Campus as a Living Lab – Sustainability ( You can also search a database of student projects resulting from some of these courses at Campus as a Living Lab & Community-Engaged Learning Projects – Sustainability (

Course CodeCourse TitleCourse DescriptionDept/DivisionInstructorSDG(s)
APS112H1Engineering Strategies and Practice IIThis course introduces and provides a framework for the design process, problem solving and project management. Students are introduced to communication as an integral component of engineering practice. The course is a vehicle for practicing team skills and developing communications skills. Building on the first course, this second course in the two Engineering Strategies and Practice course sequence introduces students to project management and to the design process in greater depth. Students work in teams on a term length design project. Students will write a series of technical reports and give a team based design project presentation.Applied Science & EngineeringVariesSDG9 (Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure)
ARC3402HFThe Ha/f Research Seminar: How do we halve the greenhouse gas emission of the U of T’s own buildings?During this course, students will first use the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools, energy tools, and campus operational energy data at their disposal to assess and explain the current embodied carbon and emissive state of campus buildings. Next, we will assess the impacts of future building renovations to approach net zero operation by 2030 (or 2050 as it may be) while simultaneously balancing added embodied carbon from the renovation process. Finally, the research undertaken by this class will be communicated to UofT facilities and the design architects, influencing future procurement and practice at the University of Toronto and beyond.Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, & DesignAlstan Jakubiec and Kelly DoranSDG9 (Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure); SDG11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities); SDG13 (Climate Action)
BIOB98H3Supervised Introductory Research in BiologyA course designed to facilitate the introduction to, and experience in, ongoing laboratory or field research in biology. Supervision of the work is arranged by mutual agreement between student and instructor.Biological Sciences, UTSCVariesSDG15 (Life on Land)
CIV375Building ScienceThe fundamentals of the science of heat transfer, moisture diffusion, and air movement are presented. Using these fundamentals, the principles of more sustainable building enclosure design, including the design of walls and roofs are examined. Selected case studies together with laboratory investigations are used to illustrate how the required indoor temperature and moisture conditions can be maintained using more durable and more sustainable designs.Civil & Mineral EngineeringMarianne TouchieSDG9 (Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure); SDG11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities); SDG13 (Climate Action)
CIV575Studies in Building ScienceThis course examines the basic principles governing the control of heat, moisture and air movement in buildings and presents the fundamentals of building enclosure design. With this background, students are required to research advanced topics related to emerging areas of Building Science, and to write and present to the class an individual comprehensive paper related to their research. Lectures for this course will be jointly offered with those of CIV375H1.Civil & Mineral EngineeringMarianne TouchieSDG9 (Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure); SDG11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities); SDG13 (Climate Action)
CTL1122HExploring the Praxis of Environmental and Sustainability Education This course explores the theory and practice (praxis) of Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) in school and community settings. Students will investigate the historical roots, theoretical foundations and pedagogical traditions of ESE from personal and organizational perspectives, contextualizing these in recent developments in research, policy, and practice in Canada and internationally. The praxis of ESE will be situated in relation to equity, social justice, Indigenous ways of knowing, health and wellbeing, and transformative learning. Students will use this as a starting point to explore and develop practices in ESE in classrooms and community settings as a means to better position and integrate ESE in their own work as educators and researchers.Curriculum, Teaching & Learning, OISEHilary InwoodSDG3 (Good Health & Well-Being); SDG4 (Quality Education); SDG10 (Reduced Inequalities)
ENV332H5Practicum in Environmental ManagementSolutions to environmental issues depend on interdisciplinary teamwork. This course mimics the practical, multidisciplinary, collaborative work that is highly valued in the environment sector. Students work in teams on semester-long projects addressing a specific environmental issue on campus or in the local community (e.g., conducting a waste audit; developing an educational module for a local NGO, etc.). Specific skills that are developed include; project management and workflow, data collection, report writing and formal presentations. This course is strongly recommended for Specialist and Major students in any of the Environment Programs.Geography, Geomatics and Environment, UTMHosea PatrickSDG4 (Quality Education); SDG11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities)
ENV461H1The U of T Campus as a Living Lab of SustainabilityThis course will explore and apply the living lab concept, in the context of operational sustainability at the University of Toronto. We will begin by looking at the literature on university sustainability and the living lab concept. The bulk of the course will involve undertaking an applied research project on some aspect of campus sustainability, working in close partnership with operational staff at the University of Toronto. Students will develop the skills needed to work across disciplines and fields of study, and with non-academic partners. This course will put students to work on operational sustainability projects identified by the staff working in or with the Sustainability Office at the University of Toronto. Students will be organized into groups, each of which will be assigned one project, to be overseen by one or more U of T staff members. The bulk of the course will consist of regular meetings with the staff “clients”, with instructors, and in small groups to undertake a group project. Each group will produce a mid-term and final report, and give a mid-term and final presentation. A crucial aspect of this course is the ability of students to work collaboratively together in a group environment, and to work effectively with a university staff person acting as a “client” for their work. School of Environment, Arts & ScienceJohn RobinsonSDG11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities); SDG13 (Climate Action)
ENV496Restoration Ecology IIThe follow-up course to Restoration Ecology I, ENV496 will build on its theoretical foundations to focus on student involvement in a variety of restoration projects planned or underway by Credit Valley Conservation and other groups in Mississauga and the greater Credit Valley watershed. The emphasis here is on planning and implementation of restoration projects; good scientific design; understanding policies and procedures; identifying and working with stakeholders, etc. Occasional field exercises may be scheduled during regular class meeting times.Geography, Geomatics and Environment, UTMMonika HavelkaSDG11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities); SDG14 (Life Below Water); SDG15 (Life on Land)
ENV1103HLiving Labs for Applied SustainabilityENV1103 will apply the living lab concept to operational sustainability concerns at the University of Toronto.
We will begin by looking at the literature on university sustainability and the living laboratory concept. Most of
the course will engage students in an applied research project on an aspect of campus sustainability while
working in close cooperation with U of T staff. Students will develop the skills needed to present information
relative to these real-world problems and develop proposed solutions integrating their own fields of study with
new topics and practical, quotidian university concerns.
School of Environment, Arts & ScienceAlstan JakubiecSDG11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities); SDG13 (Climate Action)
EESC34H3/ESTC34H3Sustainability in PracticeThis course is intended for students who would like to apply theoretical principles of environmental sustainability learned in other courses to real world problems. Students will identify a problem of interest related either to campus sustainability, a local NGO, or municipal, provincial, or federal government. Class meetings will consist of group discussions investigating key issues, potential solutions, and logistical matters to be considered for implementation of proposed solutions. Students who choose campus issues will also have the potential to actually implement their solutions. Grades will be based on participation in class discussions, as well as a final report and presentation.Dept. of Physical & Environmental Science, UTSCAna Maria Martinez; Jim MacLellan in Fall 2022SDG11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities)
JAV303H1Cities, Society, EnvironmentThe course considers interdisciplinary perspectives on sustainability within the built and natural environment. Through the examination of a broad set of textual and visual artifacts, students will critically examine responses to topics such as climate change, systemic inequity, and spatial justice at an individual, civic, regional, and planetary scale.Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & DesignPetros BabasikasSDG10 (Reduced Inequalities); SDG11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities); SDG13 (Climate Action)
MIE490Y1/491Y1Capstone DesignAn experience in engineering practice through a significant design project whereby student teams meet specific client needs through a creative, iterative, and open-ended design process. The project must include:
• The application of disciplinary knowledge and skills to conduct engineering analysis and design,
• The demonstration of engineering judgment in integrating economic, health, safety, environmental, social or other pertinent interdisciplinary factors,
• Elements of teamwork, project management and client interaction, and
• A demonstration of proof of the design concept.
Mechanical & Industrial EngineeringDionne Aleman and Kamran BehdinanSDG9 (Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure)
MIE507Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) FundamentalsIntroduction to the fundamentals of HVAC system operation and the relationship between these systems, building occupants and the building envelope. Fundamentals of psychrometrics, heat transfer and refrigeration; determination of heating and cooling loads driven by occupant requirements and the building envelope; heating and cooling equipment types and HVAC system configurations; controls and maintenance issues that influence performance; evaluation of various HVAC systems with respect to energy and indoor environmental quality performance.Civil & Mineral EngineeringMarianne TouchieSDG9 (Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure); SDG11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities); SDG13 (Climate Action)
RSM436H1Sustainable FinanceThis course teaches students how to apply financial tools and models to the understanding of and to developing solutions for sustainability challenges as defined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Particular emphasis is on understanding the role of financial markets and financial constraints and incentives as a source of problems and to understanding the role of financial markets and financial tools as a source of solutions in the areas of climate change, environmental stresses, as well as social inequity and economic development across the world. Corporate ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) ratings and financial ESG investment tools are prominently discussed.Rotman School of ManagementJan Mahrt-SmithSDG8 (Decent Work & Economic Growth); SDG10 (Reduced Inequalities); SDG11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities); SDG13 (Climate Action)