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Integrating Sustainability in the Curriculum through Capstone Projects: A Case Study

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Capstone Courses in Construction

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

25.810.1 - 25.810.12



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Paper Authors


Mohsin K. Siddiqui King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals

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Mohsin K. Siddiqui is an Assistant Professor of construction engineering and management (CEM) at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He is also a project management training consultant for the Saudi Aramco oil company. Siddiqui holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering (CEM) and M.S. degrees in civil engineering (CEM) and computer sciences (CS). Siddiqui's research interests focus on scheduling, technology-aided construction management, and human technology interactions. In addition to peer review roles for many reputed journals, Siddiqui serves on the editorial board of the Advanced Engineering Informatics Journal.

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Sulaiman Dawood Alrasheed Saudi Aramco


Abdul Rahman Mohammed King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals


Azfar Amaan King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals

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Waheed Hussain Aljaroudi P.E.


Abdullah Ahmed Al-Jughaiman King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals

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Abdullah Ahmed Al-Jughaiman is a master's student in construction engineering management in King Fahd University of Petroluem and Mineral and works as Civil and Project Engineer in one of the leading petrochemical companies in Saudi Arabia.

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Fayez Mohsen Alsaikhan King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals

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Bahir Mohamad Alhashem

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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. 10.18260/1-2--21567

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