Published in 116th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings: Austin, TX, June 14, 2009.
Copyright © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education.
The Architectural Engineering (ARCE) Program at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo is creating a unique and novel interdisciplinary course where architecture, architectural engineering and construction management students collaborate to design and plan the construction of a building structure. The current plan is to develop a default interdisciplinary experience that can be taken by every student and then allow course substitutions for other options as they are created. This paper reports on one of those other options, specifically a unique real world, global, multi-disciplinary experience in East Africa that has resulted from a master’s degree project that incorporated 14 undergraduates into the work. The project is entering its second year, now includes 24 undergraduate students and has the potential to continue well into the future. The students are supporting the Catholic diocese in Same, Tanzania to design a polytechnic school to accommodate up to 500 students. The design experience is allowing students to address the social, political, economic, constructability, and global issues that come from a real world project on a different continent. The students are incorporating local labor capabilities, regional material availability, climate, seismic vulnerabilities, and local customs and traditions into their design. To minimize the costs of construction, operation and maintenance, the student design includes efficient construction methods, energy sustainability and water sustainability.