Sustainable Architecture Design
by Dr. John Peterson, PhD, FPA-BM Chairman of the Board
Rationale for Curriculum Need and Purpose
Architectural education plays a fundamental role in training future building designers. Since buildings consume approximately 50 percent of the world’s resources (Al-Hassan & Dudek, 2009), over the last several years the interest in sustainable design has grown exponentially among design professionals, educators and students. The rise of the US Green Building Council and its LEED rating system – LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) created LEED as a rating system for green building – has led an unprecedented demand for professionals that understand sustainable design, and can apply its principles to the design of buildings and communities. Students that leave architectural courses prepared with this knowledge have an important advantage over students who have taken a more traditional approach. A growing list of leading firms across the country are now insisting on green architecture knowledge as a pre-requisite for hiring, suggesting that sustainability has finally entered the mainstream. Many students are finding that LEED accreditation on their resume is just as important as knowledge of industry-related software applications.
An opportunity exists for architectural drafting programs to embrace this future by providing a coursework that teaches the basics of sustainable design to their students. The construction-related journal, Contractor (2009), in a new study from the U.S. Green Building Council and Booz Allen Hamilton, a strategy and technology consulting firm, stated that despite a challenging economic outlook, green building will support 7.9 million U.S. jobs and generate $554 billion into the U.S. economy, including $396 billion in wages over the next four years. Robin Pogrebin (2009) stated on the article Architects Return to Class as Green Design Advances published on The New York Times:
This kind of expertise is now being applied to every aspect of design and construction, from how materials are transported to and disposed of at a work site, to the tools and machines used, to consideration of how a building will perform over the next half-century (Pogredin, 2009).
Definition of Sustainable Architecture Design
Sustainable architecture is designing buildings keeping in mind environmental goals and sustainable development. The terms green architecture or green buildings are often used interchangeably with sustainable architecture to promote this definition further. In a broader sense and taking into account the pressing economic and political issues, sustainable architecture seeks to reduce the negative environmental impact of the buildings by increasing efficiency and moderation in the utilization of building materials, energy and development space. Similarly, green architecture denotes economical, energy-saving, environmentally-friendly, sustainable development and explores the relationship between architecture and ecology (Brister, 2007).
As the global financial crisis continues to threaten the livelihood of American businesses and workers – and halts both the momentum and quality of new, sustainable infrastructure – the nation confronts a double challenge: not only are building projects at a standstill, but we risk losing to other careers many of the professionals needed to design and construct the next generation of green buildings (McEntee, 2009).
Curriculum Alignment with Institution’s Mission Statement and Philosophy
Curriculum alignment is the first and arguably the most important step in increasing student achievement relative to the curriculum frameworks and criterion and norm referenced assessments.
Learners of the Sustainable Architecture Design Course
For the younger generation, this area provides a wide variety of opportunities for workers to find jobs they consider meaningful, impactful and important. It also provides an older generation of workers the ability to mentor and use the depth and breadth of their experience to improve upon the existing infrastructure of the nation and truly bring it up to 21st century standards (McEntee, 2009).
Desired Outcomes of the Curriculum
Course outcomes are major results that all graduates of the Sustainable Architecture Design course are expected to achieve. They are specific to the target occupation, professional area, and discipline. By achieving the competencies in this course, students will build some of skills, abilities, and attitudes required by the course outcomes. Prior to finishing the course students will need to demonstrate that they have achieved the Sustainable Architecture Design course outcomes by completing all the required performance assessments. When students perform these assessments they will create products such as portfolios, models, or samples that they can use to document their qualifications for prospective employers or higher education.
This course will help students work toward the achievement of the following course goals and outcomes:
- Explains the philosophy and underpinnings of effective integrative design, addressing systems thinking and building and community design from a whole-living system perspective
- Details how to implement integrative design from the discovery phase to occupancy, supported by process outlines, itemized tasks, practice examples, case studies, and real-world stories illustrating the nature of this work
- Explores the deeper understanding of integration that is required to transform architectural practice and our role on the planet
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Apply sustainable architectural concepts and applications to all aspects of the design process
- Apply use of perspective and projected-view drawing practices
- Describe documents required for construction practices
- Design residential or commercial plans, elevations, sections, and details using industry standards of construction rules
- Apply the design creation process
- Discuss and describe architectural drawing practices
- Accurately develop and use Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) drawing functions
- Apply dimensioning of architectural drawings
- Use and apply basic Building Information Modeling (BIM) software menus and commands
- Use correct BIM software systems on creation of green architecture
- Access and use BIM software menu structure, geometry editing functions, BIM software command entities, and accurately develop and use BIM software drawing setup
- Accurately apply dimension drawing according to accepted drafting standards
Core Values of Sustainable Architecture Design Course
Students of the Sustainable Architecture Design course shall:
- Act responsibly
- Communicate clearly and effectively
- Demonstrate essential computer skills
- Demonstrate essential mathematical skills
- Develop job-seeking skills
- Respect self and others as members of a diverse society
- Think critically and creatively
- Work cooperatively
- Value learning
Importance of class attendance
Class attendance contributes significantly to academic success. Students who attend classes regularly tend to earn higher grades and have higher passing rates in courses. Excessive absences may jeopardize their grades or even their ability to continue in this course.
If students are absent from class for any reason they are responsible for all missed work and for promptly contacting the instructor.
Course External Standards
External Standards are credentialing requirements established by external organizations such as professional associations, regulatory agencies, consumer groups, hiring organizations, accreditation organizations, or government agencies to create shared expectations for quality.
The standards for the Sustainable Architecture DesignCourse have been set by ADDA (American Drafting and Design Association). By constructing the Architectural Design course so that it meets the ADDA standards, we increase the credibility of all its graduates.
Periodically throughout the course students will be asked to participate in independent activities, which may take several different forms, such as independent study, interactive instruction, laboratory exercises, research, internet exploration, and job shadowing. These activities are an integral part of the total curriculum, but will have minimal instructor involvement. They provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities to work independently to meet a designated goal as well as to show development in the various core abilities associated with the course.
Instruction Techniques and Strategies
This course will follow a goal-based model for instruction. According to Glatthorn, Boschee, & Whitehead (2006, p. 131), this goal-based model has several features that recommend it.
Method of Course Delivery
Dr. Bob Kizlik (2009) wrote on the ADPRIMA website, that direct and indirect instruction are two main categories that many educators find useful for classifying teaching methods, but it is a bit more complicated than placing all instruction into two categories. Any instructional method a teacher uses has advantages, disadvantages, and requires some preliminary preparation. Often times, a particular teaching method will naturally flow into another, all within the same lesson, and excellent teachers have developed the skills to make the process seamless to the students. Very well said
Table 2 – The most effective instructional methods according to Kizlik (2009) to be used on this course:
It helps foster mutual responsibility.
It is supported by research as an effective technique.
Students learn to be patient, less critical and more compassionate.
Some students don’t work well this way.
Loners find it hard to share answers.
Aggressive students try to take over.
Bright students tend to act superior.
Decide what skills or knowledge is to be learned.
It requires some time to prepare students to learn how to work in groups.
Factual material is presented in a direct, logical manner.
Proficient oral skills are necessary.
There should be a clear introduction and summary.
|Lecture with discussion|
It involves students, at least after the lecture.
Time constraints may affect discussion opportunities.
It often requires teacher to “shift gears” quickly.
Teacher should be prepared to allow questions during lecture, as appropriate.
It is a listening exercise that allows creative thinking for new ideas.
It can be unfocused.
Teacher selects issue.
|Video and slides|
It is an entertaining way of introducing content and raising issues.
It can raise too many issues to have a focused discussion.
Need to obtain and set up equipment.
It pools ideas and experiences from group.
Not practical with more than 20 students.
It requires careful planning by teacher to guide discussion.
|Small group discussion|
It allows for participation of everyone.
It needs careful thought as to purpose of group.
Need to prepare specific tasks or questions for group to answer.
It develops analytic and problem solving skills.
Students may not see relevance to own situation.
Case must be clearly defined.
|Worksheet and surveys|
It allows students to think for them without being influenced by others.
It can be used only for short period of time.
Teacher has to prepare handouts.
It personalizes topic.
It may not be a good speaker.
Contact speakers and coordinate.
It gives students an opportunity to explore values and beliefs.
Students may not be honest about their values.
Teacher must carefully prepare exercise.
Learning and Assessment Activities
“Assessment is a process of gathering information for the purpose of making judgments about a current state of affairs” (Pellegrino, 2002). In educational assessment, the information collected is designed to help teachers, administrators, policymakers, and the public conclude what students know and how well they know it, presumably for the purpose of enhancing future outcomes. The learning activities for each Lesson Plan tell students what they can do to master the learning objectives and competencies. They are their assignments.
The student’s success is the main goal of any learning experience. In performance-based learning, the instructor carefully identifies what students need to be able to do as a result of a learning experience. Next, the instructor determines how students can show that they have learned these skills. Finally, the instructor plans learning activities that will help students develop the target skills, knowledge, and attitudes.
Performance-based learning tasks according to Dr. Carol Gordon (2001)
|Authentic Learning Task Content|
Authentic Learning Task MethodologyThe learner
Authentic Learning Task Design
Benefits for students
- Students will learn skills and knowledge that they can apply, rather than outlines of information.
- Instructors tell students right up front WHAT they learn, how instructors expect students to show WHEN students have learned, and HOW students may go about learning. This helps instructors plan how to invest student’s time and energy.
- Students know the standards for evaluation before the assessment. Students earn a grade according to how well they perform the skills rather than according to how well others in the class perform. Students are not graded on a curve.
- Students are actively involved in the learning. Instructors design learning activities and assignments that teach students to solve problems and to learn on their own.
- When students complete a learning experience, they have documentation showing the skills and knowledge they have learned. Students can use this information when they seek employment, admission to further education, advanced standing or transfer of credit.
Students’ Assessment and Measures of Outcomes
Course Evaluation Strategies (Methodologies)
The course evaluation strategy will be based on a Consensus Model, using Traditional and Technical Evaluation. According to McNeil (2009), the purpose of evaluation is to decide on the value of a curricular intervention within a course. A significant difference in student performance during and after the intervention may be taken as evidence that the intervention had a positive effect (p. 228).
The subject matter in this course will be presented in the form of lectures, class discussion, demonstrations, collaborative activities, computer assignments, student projects and presentations, on-line research as well as guest speakers and field trips when deemed appropriate. The classroom will be set up as a computer laboratory, with personal computer workstations available to individual students. The classroom shall have a projector and a screen installed, with an allocated computer for the projector. Also the classroom shall have a large format printer, a laser printer for smaller prints, and a scanner. The instructor shall have a digital camera made available by the school for class assignments.
Al-Hassan, A., & Dudek, S. (2009). Sustainable architecture education in Kuwait University and the impact of the society in the learning process [Abstract]. Journal of the World Universities Forum, 1(2), 21-28. Abstract retrieved from http://wuj.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.173/prod.24
Amazon.com (2009). The Integrative design guide to green building: Redefining the practice of sustainability. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Integrative-Design-Guide-Green-Building/dp/0470181109/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258040441&sr=1-1
Amazon.com (2009). The philosophy of sustainable design. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Philosophy-Sustainable-Design-Jason-McLennan/dp/0974903302/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1258040260&sr=8-1
Brister, W. (2007, September 3). Sustainable green architecture [Article]. Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?Sustainable-Green-Architecture&id=715327&opt=print
Contractor Magazine (2009, November 12). New study: green building will support 8 million U.S. jobs [Article]. Retrieved from http://contractormag.com/news/green-study-2345/
Glatthorn, A., Boschee, F., & Whitehead, B. (2006). Curriculum leadership: Development and implementation (1st ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Gordon, C. (2001, June 1). Performance learning and assessment: The wave of the future [PowerPoint slides]. Boston University. Retrieved from http://www.acrlnec.org/sigs/nelig/2001/gordon/
McEntee, C. (2009, October 30). In American Institute of Architects (Ed.), Building and greening key to jumpstarting the economy [Article]. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=US132513336720091030
McNeil, J. (2009). Contemporary curriculum: In thought and action (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Pellegrino, J. (2002). Knowing what students know. Issues in Science and Technology, 48(2).
Pogrebin, R. (2009, August 19). In New York Times (Ed.), Architects return to class as green design advances [Article]. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/20/education/20BUILD.html?_r=3&pagewanted=print
The FPA-BM has as Chairman of the Board Dr. John Peterson, Ph.D. A leading education specialist for over 15 years, Dr. John Peterson is a published author and the creator and implementer of several undergraduate and graduate programs. Emphasizing practical access to learning methodologies, Dr. Peterson has developed curricula focused on online and face-to-face training, optimizing new technologies for the benefit of his students’ achievements in real-world careers. In addition, Dr. Peterson is an experienced consultant to the requirements of the Florida Department of Education regarding the licensing and compliance of new institutions.