Sustainable construction: Active learning of sustainability through design and evaluation of green buildings

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

2 Scopus citations


A sustainable future is not possible without innovative engineering solutions. New technologies must be developed and implemented to address emerging challenges in energy and natural resources. In parallel, engineering education must equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for designing sustainable engineering systems, i.e. with optimum economical, environmental, and societal impact. This paper describes the experience of developing and teaching a senior-level civil engineering course titled "Sustainable Construction". A result of collaboration between two faculty members at University of Hawaii and Villanova University, the course provides students with an opportunity to apply sustainability principles in analyzing and evaluating the life-cycle performance of green buildings. This course was designed to emphasize active learning through hands-on, problem-based and project-based methods. Students worked in diverse teams and examined campus buildings according to LEED standards, to offer strategies for improving building's energy efficiency and environmental footprint. Through interactive classroom discussions and hands-on computer simulations, students gained a broad knowledge of sustainability, recycled and green materials, energy and water efficiency, and life-cycle assessment, and applied this knowledge towards real-life examples. This paper presents different components of this course with examples of students work and their progress throughout the semester.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Event2009 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2009Jun 17 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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