Designing for sustainability requires information on the impacts of the relevant activities, which translates to the need for data that enables measureable outcomes. Given the variety of outcomes that may be employed to quantify “sustainability,” the proposed module will ask teams to discuss the relevance of different data sets. For example, a team might consider the energy efficiency of a house. This depends on many factors, including location, building construction, insulation. If we wanted to specifically study the impact of a different color roof (e.g., light vs. dark), and we have a two-story house in Texas with a dark roof and a ranch house in Oregon with a light roof, then one could do a two-sample t-test to compare their electricity usage. The team would present to the class their arguments for how to collect appropriate data.
Is Transportation Sustainable? (for Transportation Engineering course)
This module focuses on examining sustainability impacts associated with transportation planning and facility design. The module uses a case study discussion to allow students to practice recognizing sustainable impact issues.
Life Cycle Sustainability Economics (for Engineering Economics course)
The module covers how traditional economics falls short of sustainability, through the Tragedy of the Commons and externalities. It then discusses several solutions, including triple bottom line accounting, life cycle cost analysis, and incorporating environmental benefits in cost-benefit analysis.
Waste as a Resource (for Environmental Engineering course)
This module includes topics such as recycling and recovering energy from waste. Students will learn vocabulary associated with waste reduction/reuse, methods for collecting recyclable materials, issues related to recycling and reuse and how to calculate heating values for given waste components.
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