Real Estate Development, Design, and Construction
Course Number 1461
Lecturer Eugene A. Kohn
Lecturer John D. Macomber
Lecturer Christopher S. Gordon
Winter, 29 sessions
Jointly-listed at Harvard Design School
This course focuses on students who expect to be leaders in the global real estate industry and its related specialties. In the near term, these students will lead in the built environment as project managers in real estate development, real estate investing, private equity in real estate, architecture, urban planning, construction, or other fields emphasizing project management. In the longer term, these students will be leaders in the built environment in an industry characterized by opportunities stemming from globalization, urbanization, resource scarcity, and complex infrastructure challenges. The prototypical student expects to be in a project management or similar development-oriented role soon, and a principal in due course.
The educational objectives of this course are to introduce students to the basic tools and concepts needed to be effective project managers and leaders in the built environment. The analytical tools address a set of management skills that grow from the project level to the firm level to the regional and industry levels. Skills range from understanding pro formas and schedules; to managing architects and contractors; to strategies for the real estate practice; to analyzing and anticipating impacts of major trends in the next decade in real estate development, design, and construction. Key among these trends are urbanization, resource scarcity/ sustainability, and conception and delivery of complex infrastructure projects.
Jointly-listed between Harvard Business School and Harvard Design School, this course is intended to serve an audience drawn from both schools using faculty and concepts drawn from both schools and combining issues in finance, architecture, project materials and methods, and planning.
This course is distinct from the "Real Property" and "Real Estate in Emerging Markets" courses at HBS since this curriculum focuses primarily on the conception, creation, and delivery of projects, with less emphasis on capital markets and the management of cash flowing real assets. This course is distinct from other professional practice courses at the Harvard Design School due to the attention to global trends and related industries beyond the practice of architecture.
Course Content and Organization
The course is organized into several modules. The first three are at the project level, investigating how a concept becomes a building and introducing the financial, analytical, design, and project management tools that are involved. The second three modules anticipate leading the firm, considering issues and opportunity in the global built environment, and making an impact.
- Creating in the Built Environment: Vision.
- Design and Economics: Marriage and Tradeoffs.
- Project Management: Toolkit for Development, Architecture, and Real Estate
- Practice Management: Leading the Real Estate or Design Firm
- The Next Decade: The Context in Which You Will Lead
- Making an Impact: Megaprojects
Classes and assignments include case study discussions, simulation exercises, group and individual short projects, polls, and a multi-phase final project delivered in groups and drawing on all the tools of the course.