Integrating Sustainability Curriculum into Construction Education: A Progress Report

By James Sullivan and Russell Walters

As sustainable construction continues to increase its market share in the commercial construction realm there is continued discussion regarding providing adequate exposure to sustainable practices in the undergraduate curriculum. Sustainable construction, specifically United States Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Engineering, places an emphasis on design integration, professional and industry education, and market transformation – both in products and installation techniques. The question at hand is how to prepare construction and engineering students for what is quickly becoming the norm for construction in the United States. Previous research has discussed integration of curriculum and has found there are no existing standards in place. This study finds that when sustainability is viewed as integral to high performance design and delivery that course development is more a function of integration than revision. This paper reviews the progress made since 1998 to present in undergraduate integrated and supplemented education courses in a prominent four year construction program. The question of accreditation requirements and initial career offerings are also discussed. Integrating sustainability into the curriculum is perceived to enhance the students’ learning and provide a superior experience.

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