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A Living Laboratory

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.21.1 - 2.21.10



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Paper Authors

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Michael J. Brandemuehl

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Lawrence E. Carlson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3226


Lawrence E. Carlson, Michael J. Brandemuehl Integrated Teaching and Learning Program College of Engineering and Applied Science University of Colorado at Boulder


The College of Engineering and Applied Science has recently built a new laboratory facility designed to facilitate hands-on, team-oriented learning across all of its six departments. The three-story, 34,400 sq. ft. Integrated Teaching and Learning (ITL) Laboratory opened its doors in January 1997. Its curriculum-driven design accommodates a variety of learning styles and features two first-year design studios, an active-learning arena, a computer simulation laboratory, a computer network integrating all the experimental equipment throughout two large, open laboratory plazas, capstone design studios, group work areas and student shops.

Designing this facility from the ground up has given us a unique opportunity to use the building itself as an interactive teaching tool to give students, as well as the public at large, an appreciation of the variety of engineering concepts and systems implicit in any modern building. Included in the “building-as-lab” (BAL) concept of the laboratory is the capability to expose, monitor and manipulate the facility’s many complex engineering systems.

The various building-as-lab features can be grouped into four main levels of complexity; details are given in the body of the paper:

Exposure Showing, through example, the various engineering systems required to make a building function. Virtually everything required to make the building function is exposed and incorporated as design elements.

Measurement Sensors permeate the ITLL facility to allow real-time monitoring of the “pulse” of the building, including air flow and temperature, structural strain, electrical demand, soil moisture and temperature, etc. These data are available in real time on workstations located in gallery spaces, and long range plans call for the data from these sensors to be continuously monitored and posted on the ITL Internet page ( As data are accumulated over months and years, clear trends should develop, giving a big-picture look at actual building behavior.

Brandemuehl, M. J., & Carlson, L. E. (1997, June), A Living Laboratory Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6667

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