ENGINEERING AND ARCHITECTURE POSTGRADUATE STUDENT’S PERCEPTIONS ON SUSTAINABLE DESIGN

I.J. Navarro, A.J. Sánchez-Garrido , V. Yepes 

Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
The construction sector is one of the main contributors to the actual levels of environmental stress, but is also recognised as an essential sector to promote human well-being, access to education or poverty eradication through the development of infrastructures and services. Therefore, since the recent establishment of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, architects and civil engineers have emerged as key actors for the sustainable future to which we all aspire. However, the complexity of sustainability claim for fundamental changes in current university curricula to educate professionals who can meet such challenge. Conventional university courses in engineering and architecture fall usually short in providing a holistic education where the students adequately perceive the relevance of considering not only the functional requirements of their designs, but also their social and environmental consequences. The present communication aims to provide an assessment tool to detect the main gaps in the education of engineers and architects based on the post-graduate students’ perceptions of sustainable design. A survey is conducted on the students from the postgraduate courses “Models of prediction and optimization of concrete structures” from the Master’s degree in Concrete Engineering, and “Innovation Management in the Construction Sector” from the Master's Degree in Planning and Management in Civil Engineering, both taught at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. The consistency of the responses is evaluated objectively based on the Analytical Hierarchy Process method, thus bringing to light the educational fields where special efforts shall be put when adapting university curricula towards the education on sustainability.