About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1967-1975
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain


P. Peltonen1, S. Vanhamäki2, H. Mälkki1, R. Jänis2

1Aalto University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (FINLAND)
2Lahti University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
Problem solving workshops in environmental learning are arranged in the above mentioned universities together with environment engineering students, enterprise expert participants and responsible university teachers. They aim at finding solutions on different environmental problems. Workshops are part of the large “Environmental Efficiency (EE)” project between the years 2011 – 2014. The EE-project is financed by the European Social Fund. The aim of the paper is to increase problem solving methods in environmental and societal teaching of engineers. The focus concerns also the new “Roadmap to a Resource-Efficient Europe (RREE)” which, e.g., outlines improvements in life cycle of the resource-efficient construction sector materials. Collaborative learning is directed to solve problems and to find out new ideas for building and demolition waste re-use. Furthermore, an objective studied in the paper is how personal knowledge of students and their practical skills for working life are increased through the workshops.

In the PBL-tutorials, students were motivated by the brain storm at first to address their ideas to problem solving. After the first PBL-tutorial, students carried out their independent learning based on literature, internet and expert interviews. The results of acute improvements were presented in workshop notes and in learning diaries. Feedback was given in a separate second tutorial. The topics dealt with so far in workshops have been: (1) Bio and energy wastes, (2) Building and demolition wastes and (3) Natural resources – water resources. The results of the first workshop were reported by Peltonen, Mälkki & Jänis in “International Conference on Problem-Based Learning”, in April 2012, in Rovaniemi town in Finland.

In this paper, the results and discussion aspects of the second workshop in “Building and demolition wastes” will be presented. Students were divided to four smaller groups with about eight participants. Acute problems of the exploitation of building and demolition wastes were discussed from many perspectives. Workshop generated main questions like: Out of the building and demolition wastes, 70 % have to be recycled in EU by the year 2020. How is this possible to achieve?, Can the labeling of building wastes make the re-use more effective?, How can the design term be exploited in marketing of composite products based on building and demolition materials?, and Characterize the “building waste bank”, terminals, management, economy and the product development?. In learning diaries, students presented acute suggestions for improvements. Students also visualized each question by schematic diagrams.

Suggestions and matters like motivation of students to work as group members, and how they consider that their environmental awareness for professional skills is increased, are discussed in the paper. The goals for developing the context of environmental teaching in topics like resource-efficient life-cycle of building materials, are evaluated. It is discussed that students need more training for multidisciplinary problem solving. The aim of our teaching is to encourage students to obtain these skills formally for their curriculum and informally for working life. In this respect, PBL-workshops are important for the modern and many-sided contextual learning of environmental problems, which this paper will focus on.
author = {Peltonen, P. and Vanham{\"{a}}ki, S. and M{\"{a}}lkki, H. and J{\"{a}}nis, R.},
series = {7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-2661-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {4-5 March, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {1967-1975}}
AU - P. Peltonen AU - S. Vanhamäki AU - H. Mälkki AU - R. Jänis
SN - 978-84-616-2661-8/2340-1079
PY - 2013
Y1 - 4-5 March, 2013
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2013 Proceedings
SP - 1967
EP - 1975
ER -
P. Peltonen, S. Vanhamäki, H. Mälkki, R. Jänis (2013) PROBLEM-BASED ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING IN BUILDING AND DEMOLITION WASTE TECHNOLOGY, INTED2013 Proceedings, pp. 1967-1975.