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Integrated Sustainable Construction: A Course In Construction For Students In The U.S.A.

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Sustainability in Construction Engineering

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.757.1 - 13.757.14



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Paper Authors


Yong Han Ahn

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Yong Han Ahn is a PhD. student in the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech. He is currently doing research in the areas of sustainability and facilities management.

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Hyuksoo Kwon

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Hyuksoo Kwon is a Ph.D student in the Technology Education/STEM Education program at Virginia Tech. He is a graduate assistant for STEM Education program and works with program faculty regarding STEM related projects. His research interest are curriculum development, integrative approach among school subjects, and comparative educational research.

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John G. Wells

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Dr Wells is an Associate Professor in the Technology Education/STEM Education at Virginia Tech. His research interests are biotechnology problem-based learning, the intersections of practice among STEM education areas, and instructional design and technology. His teaching assignments include graduate courses in Technology Education and STEM education.

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

Integrated Sustainable Construction: A Course in Construction for Students in the U.S.A.


The construction industry actively adopts the concept of sustainability to minimize the impact on the environment through accepting sustainable design and construction practices. This growing trend in sustainable construction requires both new knowledge and new skills for sustainability, in addition to conventional knowledge, such as scheduling, estimating, contracting etc. This is a paradigm change in the construction industry. Construction programs in the U.S.A should offer sustainable construction courses in order to teach sustainable knowledge and skills to their students before their entrance into industry.

The purpose of this study is to develop a sustainable construction course designed for university construction programs that uses a systematic course development approach which is divided into three stages. These include preparation, development, and improvement stages. During the preparation stage, the needs analysis is conducted in order to recognize and evaluate current sustainable construction courses offered by construction programs. In addition, in-depth literature review is performed to identify current trends in sustainable construction courses and related research. The development stage consists of: creating the framework for a sustainable construction course, choosing the goals and objectives for this course, choosing the contents of the course, organizing the chosen contents of the course, and planning the course schedule. At the improvement stage, the proposed course is improved, reviewed and evaluated by experts from both the construction industry and academia through an in-depth feedback process. From this systematically developed sustainable construction course, students in construction programs can learn basic knowledge of sustainability and the importance of sustainable design and construction. They will be exposed to different sustainable building rating systems such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), collaborative skills among construction participants and the advantages and pitfalls of sustainable construction. In addition, these sustainable construction professionals will change the nature of the construction industry and society to help secure our earth.

I. Introduction

Construction is a significant industry that profoundly influences our economy, natural environment, health, and productivity. The construction industry in the U.S.A. employed over 6.7 million people in 732,000 companies and generated annual revenue over $1.1 trillion in 2005 [1]. At the same time, the industry contributes to major environmental problems including global warming, climate change, ozone depletion, soil erosion, desertification, deforestation, acidification, loss of biodiversity, land pollution, water pollution, air pollution, and depletion of fisheries [2]. Moreover, the construction industry, especially the sectors of that industry devoted to buildings, develops products that strongly affect human health and comfort, productivity and overall quality of life [3]. With the recognition of these challenges and issues associated with construction activities, the building industry has accepted the concept of sustainability through sustainable construction. Sustainable construction indicates that buildings are designed, constructed, operated, and demolished in an environmentally and energy efficient manner which

Ahn, Y. H., & Kwon, H., & Pearce, A., & Wells, J. G. (2008, June), Integrated Sustainable Construction: A Course In Construction For Students In The U.S.A. Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3154

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