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Curriculum Projects Overview

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Ecological/Carbon Footprint
Residential Lighting Study
Sustainable Case Study
Ecohouse Competition

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The Carbon Neutral Design Project:
Carbon Neutral Teaching: Curriculum Materials Development
Terri Meyer Boake
School of Architecture, University of Waterloo

Core Technical Courses in Environmental Design
Beginning Design Course Projects

Sustainable Building Case Study

benny farm lassonde
mccallion dembroski
Case studies from Fall 2008 - click to access the Powerpoint

Design Performance Objective

Sustainable Building Case Studies

Three dimensional solar studies are prepared using either SketchUp or FormZ.

Fall 2008 Arch 226: Environmental Building Design

Sustainable Building Case Study

“...research and document various “Green” projects, analyze their relative success/failures and comment on the viability of broad based adoption of these principles into architectural discourse. This project will require more "hands on" work -- finding building details, drawing significant wall sections, a LEED® analysis and preparing a daylighting/solar study model.”

This usually results in 18 to 20 good quality case study presentations of exemplary sustainable buildings. As more Zero/Low Energy and Carbon Neutral Buildings are constructed, these will be added and the emphasis of the presentation shifted to focus on the discussion of this aspect of the building. In the interim, the students are investigating the application of passive and active design to buildings, as well as other important sustainable strategies.

The case studies can also be used to highlight how poor many LEED® buildings are doing in the area of energy performance. Most seem to gain only 4 to 5 credits in the EA area.

course outline

project outline

Investigative Strategy

Select one of the given sustainable buildings and prepare a 10 minute case study presentation for the class illustrating the project's range of environmental criteria. If a LEED® certified building, go through the LEED® credits that this building was awarded. Use Powerpoint or Keynote. Prepare solar studies for the solstices and equinox to show the interior and exterior lighting conditions for the project.

Evaluation Process

Each case study is done by a group of 4 students. We take the last two classes of the term (3 hours each) to run the presentations. Typically 18 to 20 groups at 10 to 12 minutes apiece. The students must submit their presentation before the beginning of the first class so that I can load it on my laptop. They are called to present at random.

Evaluative Criteria

Quality of the presentation/Powerpoint. Does the content address all aspects of sustainable design or the LEED® criteria as appropriate to the building. Coherence. Richness of imagery, diagrams and drawings. Were the students able to visit the site and speak to the occupants?

Cautions - Possible Confusions
Nothing significant. Given the time limitations for presentations, they need to be encouraged to keep on time. For the Powerpoints, make sure that the font is large enough to read from a distance. If they are requesting material from firms, this often seems to arrive the night before the deadline, so encourage them to start their research right away. I usually prepare a list of buildings based on the most recent list on the CaGBC and USGBC web sites, as well as recent periodicals. This does not ensure adequate information for the presentation.
Range of Applicability in terms of CLIMATE
Buildings in any climate work. Sometimes it is nice to show a range of climate types so that the students can see that there are different solutions to environmental parameters as a function of the climate.
Range of Applicability in terms of TYPE
This type of approach is suitable for any scale or type of building.
Reference Material
LEED® Guidelines
A Roadmap for Natural Capitalism
Duration of Exercise
Students are given 4 weeks to do this project. They are encouraged to select a building that is possible to visit. The presentations take up the last two 3 hour classes of the term.
Degree of Difficulty / Previous Knowledge Required
Not too difficult. They have all done a basic sustainable building case study research paper in the previous course and had to prepare a Powerpoint for the Residential Lighting Study project. We have shifted to digital models for this project as the physical ones were problematic - so they need to be able to model in either SketchUp or FormZ to prepare these images.
stgabrielcambridge city hall
Case studies from Fall 2008 - click to access the Powerpoint



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