Teaching and knowledge
Authors: Vale, Brenda ; Vale, Robert
ABSTRACT: The Engineering and Science Research Council of the UK, who are the major funding
agency for new scientific research, once said that nothing could be learned from a single
demonstration project. Experience, however, with real projects that attempt to further knowledge about
buildings and environment suggests that they are significant aids to teaching, and students become
enthused because they see teachers engaged with what they perceive as ‘real’ research. This paper
proposes that teaching based on first hand experience of environmental technologies offers significant
advantages for enthusing students about the issues involved. Three examples will be discussed; two
high mass highly insulated houses in the UK; and a house designed to gain all its electricity from a
photovoltaic roof in NZ. For each case what can be learned from single examples in terms of the
teaching of environmental science and construction to architectural students will be discussed.
Conclusions will then be drawn about what can be usefully learned from single projects.