Teaching Sustainability in Building Design and Engineering

Written by esba

Engineers and building designers make decisions that have critical impacts on the environment and society, making sensitivity to environmental and social concerns a must in the building profession. Limited pedagogical research has been conducted to develop and assess techniques for integrating sustainability into building design and engineering education. This paper describes an undergraduate course geared toward instilling concepts of sustainability in students of building-related disciplines and presents the findings of a case study and literature review conducted to identify the key features that made the course successful. The features are outlined in the form of an easy-to-use Sustainability in Higher Education Assessment Rubric (SHEAR) that faculty members can consult to shape effective programs and courses of their own to teach concepts of sustainability to their students. Two examples of this application are included, and recommendations for advancements in sustainability education are provided.


  1. Riley, David R
  2. Grommes, Amy V
  3. Thatcher, Corinne E

Link: http://www.journalofgreenbuilding.com/doi/abs/10.3992/jgb.2.1.175

About the author


The European Straw Building Association is an independent European association, devoid of any profit making motive. The object of the Association is to promote and develop the use of straw, as a sustainable way of building in all the senses of the term “sustainable”: renewable, ecological, healthy, energy and climate efficient, social and economic.
The Association is a federation composed of organisations and people particularly concerned with the use of straw in buildings.