San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.810.1 - 25.810.12
Integrating Sustainability in the Curriculum through Capstone Projects: A Case StudyThe construction research, education, and practice are increasingly adopting the concepts ofsustainability that apply to both design and construction phases of projects. The challenges facedin such adoption are a function of the maturity of the local industry and the support that it canlend to the sustainable initiatives. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council provides a set of guidelinesand principles related to the design aspects of projects. The design choices motivated by theseguidelines are made early in the project and are difficult to change at the execution stages of theproject. The existing construction management curriculum does not adequately address theproject management impact of green design. The students can best appreciate this impact througha comparative analysis of the traditional and the sustainable practices.This paper reports on the integration of suitability in the curriculum through a capstone projectcentered course. The student project studied the impact of sustainable design choices on theconstruction management aspects (time, cost, quality, risk, procurement, safety etc.) of projectsin Saudi Arabia. The project centered on a detailed comparative analysis of an existing buildingdesign and its variant; a variant that was incrementally modified by the students to gain points onthe LEED certification criteria. The emphasis was on identifying the low hanging fruit i.e. designmodifications that can have the highest sustainability impact per dollar spent. A comparativelifecycle cost analysis was conducted to highlight the cost impact of sustainability. Projectmanagement challenges from the perspectives of various stakeholders were investigated. Astudent centered learning methodology was adopted for the course to ensure that students canbenefit the most from this integration of sustainability and the core curriculum. The outcomes ofthe course indicate that it was a huge success from the students’ perspective as it exposed themto a relevant body of knowledge that was missing from their original curriculum. The studentstook ownership of their own learning and appreciated that they were able to learn at their ownpace.Although there is a eventual need to revise the curriculum to address sustainable principles, thestudy indicates that, as a first step, such integration can be achieved through project basedlearning approaches as they are less disruptive and do not require a drastic overhaul of the entirecurriculum.
Siddiqui, M. K., & Alrasheed, S. D., & Mohammed, A. R., & Amaan, A., & Aljaroudi, W. H., & Al-Jughaiman, A. A., & Alsaikhan, F. M., & Alhashem, B. M. (2012, June), Integrating Sustainability in the Curriculum through Capstone Projects: A Case Study Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21567
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