Certificate in Residential Design and Construction

View Syllabus

Yestermorrow’s Certificate in Residential Design & Construction brings together the core aspects of the school’s design/build curriculum into one cohesive and comprehensive package. For people interested in embarking on a career in the design or building trades, or those seeking deep involvement in the creation of their own dream home, the Certificate in Residential Design & Construction provides the appropriate skills and knowledge through a mix of design challenges, site visits, studio sessions, and hands-on, experiential project work.

This program is offered as a hybrid learning opportunity with 5 weeks of online design courses followed by 3 weeks of intensive hands-on learning. Students should expect to dedicate at least 10 hours per week to coursework during the online portion. While in person, students will be in class Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm with occasional evening sessions. When no evening sessions are scheduled, students will have access to the design studio to work on their personal projects.

The Certificate begins in the virtual design studio. We’ll delve into topics such as site planning, climatic design, energy efficiency, solar strategies, materials, structural principles, and more. Additionally, we’ll gain drafting and modeling skills, and learn to explore and communicate designs through the creation of floor plans, sections, elevations and scale models, as each student designs an attractive, functional, and efficient home for him or herself, or for a real or hypothetical client. Design work will be woven throughout the curriculum with an opportunity to present your designs to your peers and a panel of design/build professionals on the final day.

The in-person program begins with a week of rough carpentry and framing in the context of new construction. Students will learn the basics of a structure’s anatomy, blueprint reading, floor, wall, and roof layout and framing methodology, and much more as they help build a small structure. Along the way, they’ll gain comfort with a variety of hand and power tools, visit hardware stores and lumber yards, and learn the terminology of the trade.

During week 2, we'll continue on the build as learn about exterior finishing, roofing and window and door installation.

The program then moves into the realm of electrical and plumbing design and installation. Students will explore how to construct, repair, and alter a plumbing system and understand how that system relates to and affects the other elements of a residential structure. We’ll then gain comfort with the concepts and components of a residential electrical system and familiarity wiring lights, receptacles, and switches.


The Fall 2021 Certificate in Residential Design and Construction will be an online/in-person hybrid. The schedule is as follows:
Architectural Design (Online): Tuesday evenings from 6-9pm July 20 - August 17. There will be weekly homework assignments to further your learning. Additional evening design sessions will be incorporated throughout the in-person component. 
The in-person component will begin on August 23 and end September 10.



AIA Credit Courses, Certificate Program, Whole Structure Design/Build




  • Sterling College: 8 Continuing Education Units ($1040 additional)
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA): 140 Learning Units

Related Courses