This lesson plan will cover key concepts of ecological building, resource conservation, energy consumption (building construction and building lifespan), and material lifecycle. Your goal is to get students thinking about where buildings come from. Develop the understanding that building construction and building use consume huge portions of the world’s natural resources.
• Introduce key vocabulary in sustainable architecture
• Engage students in a dialogue about where buildings come from; the energy consumed in production and in use, and waste management in building demolition.
• They should be thinking about what this means to their future classrooms.
• Why does conservation matter?
• What does my classroom design have to do with sustainability?
Pdf attachment with vocabulary words and key concepts
Refer to attachments in the Lesson 5: Structure, Heating and ventilation systems, Lighting design
Take an inventory of the building materials that were used to build your classroom. Older students have the option of researching building materials that are not visible.
Option 1: Send students on a scavenger hunt in their school, with a list of possible materials to look for. Bonus points could be given for identifying which materials are sustainable and which are dangerous to the environment.
Option 2: Pick a material and ‘track it down’. Write a brief paper on the materials’ lifecycle: where this material can be found, what is the manufacturing process, and what happens to it when the building is demolished or not used anymore? What are the pros and cons of using this material in construction (cost, strength, durability, ecological qualities)? If your research proves that your material is unsustainable, find a material that could be used in place of it that would be safer, healthier, and better for the environment. Be innovative!
Option 1: Participation and accurate observation
Option 2: Evaluation of the completeness of information presented in the research paper on the material chosen, as well as the research done discovering sustainable materials /methods.