Over the last few months, we’ve been working with universities across Australia to incorporate LCA building design philosophy into their architecture and engineering courses. Compared to just five years ago when LCA for the built environment would have constituted an entire PhD, now classes as big as 60 undergraduate students are completing eTool LCAs on their designs in just 2 weeks and getting great low carbon results!
“I taught eTool LCA to third year Arhictecture students at UniSA this semester for the first time. I found they picked it up easily and were able to perform a comprehensive LCA on a building and then use eTool LCA to substantially reduce the embodied and operational carbon footprint. I will certainly be using eTool LCA in future courses.”
In 2012, four universities taught eTool LCA in a range of courses with over 200 students across Australia and Southeast Asia actively using the software.
Another institute we’ve been working with for a while is Murdoch University which teaches an ‘Energy Efficient Buildings’ unit to undergraduates and postgraduates. It examines different approaches to reducing energy consumption in residential and commercial buildings resulting from the design and use of the building and its energy services.
Lecturer Dr.Tania Urmee has been teaching the course for a number of years and encourages her students to use new technology and software to evaluate, modify and design energy efficient buildings more effectively. Students in both Australia and Malaysia are introduced to the principles of solar passive design, and taught to use ECOTECT and eTool LCA as practical solutions for reducing energy use through renovation and retrofitting as well as occupant behaviour.