Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Kestle, L., & Birchmore, L. (April, 2011). Applying the Living Curriculum Approach to Undergraduate Sustainable Design and Construction Education in NZ. Paper presented at 36th Annual Conference for Australian University Building Educators, Bond University, Gold Coast.


Sustainable Design and Construction is an undergraduate course for construction management, construction economics and property development students, at UNITEC Institute of Technology, in Auckland. The intention was to directly involve the 2010 cohort in current sustainable design and construction/development best practice, relevant new technologies and policies/tools. The students were to apply their new found theoretical knowledge in small groups, to a hypothetical assessment event. The given concept was a Visitor Tourist Centre to be considered in a variety of rural and different climatic locations around New Zealand, and which had to meet relevant RMA (1991) requirements for each of the particularly assigned regions. The objective was to get the students to establish a range of plausible solutions, and how sustainability issues differed according to the various geographical and climatic regions for the Visitor Tourist Centre project. The resultant findings demonstrated a range of plausible and at times superficial solutions of the similarities and differences between the various locations, whilst also demonstrating the learning challenges they personally realised, faced and resolved. In addition the paper maps the course, its outcomes and the student learning realities against the use of the Living Curriculum approach to teaching and learning.



This document has been peer reviewed.