My presentation of ideas and concepts for a new program in Energy Efficient Buildings and Systems will draw from 30 years of practice and 20 years of tenured teaching. It will focus on building integrated energy generating systems, sustainable structures and climate change adaptation,
building acoustics and a ‘learning from nature’ approach to structural and urban design.
Against the backdrop of climate change and the confluence of related global challenges the education of future civil engineer professionals asks for an integrated design strategy. It demands for a multidisciplinary approach to buildings and infrastructure to yield more inclusive and more sustainable structures. It requires a cross disciplinary discourse to enable students to navigate such complex environmental issues. Based on these considerations the program will empower connectivity and integrability across disciplines.
New innovative core competences of the future civil engineer professionals will complement disciplinary knowledge in the fields of Civil Engineering, Engineering Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering. Alongside with know-how ranging from internal mechanical systems to structural and energy design, ‘Engineering Sustainability’, ‘Designing Energy Efficiency’, ‘Smart Buildings and Networked Structures’ will advance the state of knowledge in the field of Energy Efficient Buildings and Systems.
Some of the new courses will form Bridge Studios, which bridge competencies across related disciplines. In cooperation with Columbia GSAPP joint projects and concepts will be developed that are fundamental to both, engineering and architecture. Working in small mixed teams of architecture and engineering students the Bridge Studio will serve as a laboratory through which students are trained in the interdisciplinary design process and in team work, which is important for their future careers and will potentially lay the bases for their own professional practice.
Teaching will involve theoretical and empirical research, as well as a speculative approach to how global challenges will impact and shape the future of building and infrastructure. Teaching methodology includes issues of computation and simulation of environmental concerns analyzing and predicting evolutions of built form - from innovative solutions to entirely new formations.
Students will graduate with an advanced knowledge, outstanding skills and competencies in the area of energy-efficient and environmental friendly design. As highly skilled professionals they will be able to shape an impact on the design of energy efficient buildings and systems and on the reduction of the ecological footprint of the building sector by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fostering renewable energy supply and climate change adaptation.