June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1126.1 - 26.1126.10
Making Students Cognizant of Sustainability through a Multidisciplinary Term Project in Low Level CoursesCurrent engineering students need to be equipped with a wider knowledge base in terms ofenvironmental, economic, and social attributes of engineered systems, works, and materials.Sustainability is a perspective that can be introduced in early classes and not only as a technicaltopic in upper level classes. Lower level sustainability courses can be related to the knowledgegained in the required math, science, humanities, and social sciences through “mind mapping.”This paper presents a comprehensive term project entitled “Greening the Engineering Building”utilized to engage sophomore civil engineering students’ interest in green buildings through thedevelopment of a sustainable alternative to the current engineering building on campus. Studentswere asked to use passive design strategies to optimize the layout of the building, its location andwindows sizes, utilize green technologies for heating and cooling in the form of geothermal heatpumps as well as solar panels for electricity generation, and improve upon the building envelopeperformance through the selection of proper insulating materials. This project was assigned inCIVL 201: Introduction to Green Buildings. The course focuses on the mix of traditionalengineering topics with emerging concepts of green technology in architecture and engineering.Students from various concentrations within the civil engineering department—environmental,structural, geotechnical, water resource, and construction management—were asked to worktogether in diverse groups of four on the aforementioned project.Prior to the completion of, and at the completion of the project, students were asked a series ofquestions gauging their interest in sustainability, green buildings, green energy, and materials.Outcomes assessed the increase in interest in sustainability as well as the increase in studentlearning and understanding of sustainability related topics. Although the students found theproject somewhat complex at the sophomore level, they indicated that it broadened theirunderstanding of sustainability issue in civil engineering problems and informed them on howcivil engineers are working in a multidisciplinary environment.
Nossoni, G., & Braxtan, N. L. (2015, June), Making Students Cognizant of Sustainability through a Multidisciplinary Term Project in Low-Level Courses Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24463
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