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An Innovative Way to Teach Sustainability Concepts in Construction Materials Course

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Construction 1: Special Topics in Construction Education: BIM, Simulation, Sustainability, and Safety

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Paper Authors


Pranshoo Solanki P.E. Illinois State University

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Dr. Pranshoo Solanki is an Assistant Professor at Illinois State University with over 10 years of academic and professional experience in the field of construction materials and geotechnical/pavement engineering. He received his doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Oklahoma and master’s degree in civil engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. He has professional and research experience in dealing with difficult soils/rocks, beneficial use of recycled materials/industrial by-products in pavements, characterization of soils/pavement materials, mechanistic pavement design, pavement geotechnics, pavement instrumentation, nondestructive pavement evaluation, and numerical modeling of geo-materials. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Michigan. Dr. Solanki continues to teach courses in the area of construction materials, design of structures and geotechnical engineering at Illinois State University.

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Construction management programs have an important role in sustainability education for their graduates as they produce future workforce for construction industry, one of the major industries, which influences our economy and natural environment. Due to limited natural resources and increased environmental awareness, construction professionals are increasingly expected to develop sustainable solutions to infrastructure and technology problems. However, they may find themselves inadequately prepared to provide sustainable solutions. One of the major topics of sustainable construction is building infrastructure using materials which can reduce the impact on the environment. However, incorporating knowledge of sustainable materials in already full construction management program is difficult. One of the solutions to this constraint is to introduce sustainable material concepts into an existing core course while maintaining the original course objectives. Therefore, the aim of the on-going study is to integrate sustainability concepts in the Construction Materials Technology course through an innovative term project (called as Green Concrete) dealing with the creative use of recycled materials in concrete. Specifically, students will engage in research to design their ‘Green Concrete’ using recycled materials, industrial waste and by-products. Students will work together in groups to perform all the steps of the project from design to manufacturing and testing. Each group will also be required to build a laboratory scale sample and propose a real-world application for their Green Concrete, based on the experiments. Students will also be given the opportunity to improve their written and verbal communication skills by delivering a final report and class presentation, respectively. Overall, during the ‘Green Concrete’ project students will learn how construction materials can be made more environmental friendly.

Solanki, P. (2017, June), An Innovative Way to Teach Sustainability Concepts in Construction Materials Course Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27569

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