Asee peer logo

Applied Green Building Technologies: An Interdisciplinary Service Learning Course

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Trends in Construction Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.229.1 - 8.229.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

David Riley

Download Paper |

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

Session 970

Applied Green-Building Technologies: An Interdisciplinary Public Scholarship Course

David Riley; PhD and Elizabeth Workman

Department of Architectural Engineering, Penn State

Abstract Building construction operations significantly contribute to the degradation of the environment, through both the consumption of non-renewable natural resources and the generation of waste. Awareness is increasing, however, of design and construction strategies that can help reduce the environmental impact of the built environment, leading to rapid growth in the popularity of “green” building technologies.

These green or “sustainable” building technologies and materials are evolving at a rate that exceeds the potential for significant documentation, testing, and practice, thus presenting a challenge to architectural and engineering educators. Characterized by an integrative design process, green building projects require professionals to work in new, non-sequential ways. In addition, many of the key issues surrounding sustainable design are contested and subject to debate and misconceptions. For educators, the question arises: How do we effectively expose students to these emerging technologies, while simultaneously engaging them in the integrative design processes specific to these technologies?

This paper describes an interdisciplinary public scholarship course series offered through the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State University in collaboration with a sister program at the University of Washington. This three-part course offers students hands-on experiences with new and unfamiliar green technologies, such as straw-bale construction, wind and solar power, and water conservation. Students in various disciplines are provided with opportunities to participate in the design and actual construction of a building that utilizes green building strategies and technologies. To date, these projects have been used to construct six much-needed homes and community facilities on Northern Plains Indian reservations.

The design of this course is presented along with the lessons learned through its emergence as a powerful cross-discipline learning mechanism. An assessment of the course describes it effectiveness at building the collaborative and interdisciplinary skills needed for students to play leadership roles in the future of sustainable construction.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Riley, D. (2003, June), Applied Green Building Technologies: An Interdisciplinary Service Learning Course Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12682

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015