Learning from failure: Teaching a course on building performance and forensic techniques

M. Kevin Parfitt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


University courses in the areas of building performance and building failures can take a variety of successful formats. This paper describes a course in building failures and forensic techniques offered primarily to architectural and civil engineers at Penn State University. The course incorporates a broad architectural / engineering definition of failures concentrating on topics ranging from water penetration resulting from roofing defects and poorly installed building envelope flashing, to a review of both major and lesser known historic structural collapses. A discussion of the use of industry partnerships and various forms of student centered learning techniques used to enhance the educational experience is included. The paper also describes the incorporation of case history class examples as they relate to teaching failures topics in an educational setting. Copyright ASCE 2006.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationForensic Engineering - Proceedings of the Fourth Forensic Engineering Congress
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2007
Event4th Forensic Engineering Congress - Cleveland, OH, United States
Duration: Oct 6 2006Oct 9 2006

Publication series

NameForensic Engineering, Proceedings of the Congress


Other4th Forensic Engineering Congress
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCleveland, OH

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Engineering


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