Real Estate Development, Design, and Construction
Course Number 1465
Visiting Lecturer A. Eugene Kohn
Senior Lecturer John D. Macomber
Senior Lecturer Christopher M. Gordon
Winter; Q4; 1.5 credits
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 operate 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 senior executives in those firms and in the industry. The course will also be relevant to students with a general interest in architecture and construction.
The educational objectives of this course are to introduce students to the basic tools and concepts needed to be thoughtful users of design, and 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.
Jointly-listed between Harvard Business School and Harvard Design School, this course is intended to serve an audience comprised of students from both schools, using faculty and concepts drawn from both schools and combining issues in finance, architecture, project materials and methods, and planning.
Course Content and Organization
The course is organized into four modules which follow the chronology of development, design, and construction.
- Introduction to Real Estate Development: Creating in the Built Environment
- From Concept to Reality: Vision, Design, and Site Assembly
- Balancing Revenue, Cost, and Design: Proformas and Blueprints
- Construction and Project Management Toolkit: Bidding, Contracts, Cost Reports, Scheduling
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.
This course is distinct from the "Real Property," "Real Estate in Frontier Markets," and "Managing Real Estate Investment Portfolios" 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. It is a good project specific complement to "Sustainable Cities: Urbanization, Infrastructure and Finance" at HBS which has more emphasis on infrastructure, large projects, and resource effectiveness. This course is distinct from other professional practice courses at the Harvard Design School due to its extensive combination of design, project delivery, and real estate economics, as well as its use of the HBS Case Study pedagogy.