Teaching sustainability in building design and engineering

David R. Riley, Amy V. Grommes, Corinne E. Thatcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-195
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Green Building
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Environmental Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture


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