Building as a learning tool: a student-centred POE approach to the Swanston Academic Building (SAB)

  • YEAR
    Woo, Jin
    2015 Conference Papers
    Built Environment Performance Assessment
    Conference Papers


This paper describes the process of developing a student-centred POE project for the educational purpose of undergraduate students, using the experiential learning-by-doing approach to assess building performance. The case study building, the Swanston Academic Building (SAB) at RMIT University, is an exemplar of the Australian green educational buildings, creating a ‘vertical campus’ to support student learning. Four progressive assessment tasks were designed for the project based on time and resources availability: site visit, space analysis, energy audit and user satisfaction. The space analysis and energy audit enabled students to understand the functional, technical and environmental performance of the building, dealing with secondary data. The main focus of the project was building user satisfaction, assessing student users’ environmental comfort and satisfaction in respect of energy use and environmental impact in the case study building. A total of 193 participants responded and the respondents were satisfied with overall building performance including comfort at student portals. Although the respondents were less likely to report a significant change in health and work productivity they highly rated building facilities which support their work well. The student-centred POE project presented in this paper seems relevant to building education as it actively engages students in the learning process as a building assessor as well as a building user, reflecting on their experience of using the case study building.


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