Development of ecocampus: A prototype system for sustainable building design education

Steven K. Ayer, John I. Messner, Chimay J. Anumba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Students in architectural engineering and related disciplines need to develop critical design skills to be successful in their post-collegiate careers. Among these critical skills are the abilities to: create possible design concepts to address a given functional or programming requirement; understand what those concepts will look like in the context of an existing building or project site; and assess the benefits and deficiencies of the design concepts to determine the best possible design strategy. Existing technologies have been used to help students develop these skills through a mobile computer-based prototype, called ecoCampus. This computer application allowed students to: explore sustainable retrofit design possibilities for an existing building; visualize those design possibilities with marker-based augmented reality; and receive tailored performance feedback about the designs through a basic simulation game interface. This paper discusses the general workflow for creating this type of tool and the specific steps that were followed to develop ecoCampus. These steps include: identifying educational objectives; developing a list of functional requirements; developing the workflow for the educational design module; determining the development infrastructure for creating the application; developing the tool; and refining the initial prototype through iteration. This workflow is offered as a process that can successfully lead to a functional prototype as evidenced by the creation of ecoCampus, and can be used by future developers for creating similar technological tools applied to various educational disciplines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-533
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Information Technology in Construction
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Computer Science Applications


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