Integrating sustainability concepts into construction engineering education through service learning projects Korman, Thomas M.
In recent years, sustainability has surfaced as an important topic in society and therefore has become a goal of many construction engineering faculty to incorporate sustainability topics into their curricula. Determining an appropriate location in a curriculum can be challenging for educators as they frequently already struggle to schedule topics required by accreditations review boards. In the effort to introduce construction engineering students to sustainability concepts, the author has developed and implemented a variety of project based service learning projects aimed at integrating sustainability into an existing curriculum. These include the Reduction in Energy Demand and Utility Consumption Exercise (REDUCE) project, the Building Information Modeling for Energy Efficiency (BIM-E2) project, and the Renewable Energy for Central America (RECA) project. An abundant amount of existing research concludes that service learning enhances a student’s education in the areas of: work ethic, critical thinking, problem solving, social issues, and reasoning. This paper outlines the development, implementation, and evaluation of the aforementioned projects and how they are used to teach sustainability concepts while at the same time providing them with hands-on experience in a service learning pedagogy.
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