Topic Thread

  • 1.  Intersection between Civil Engineering and LEED principles

    Posted 11-08-2021 10:37 AM
    Dear ASCE/EWRI Members,

    I've recently completed study and earned LEED Green Associate credentials from the US Green Building Council. There is a considerable amount of material in the LEED principles that intersects with the civil engineering discipline especially on the area of water resources (low impact development, stormwater management, sensitive site preservation, brownfield issues, etc), but there's also material that deals with transportation engineering considerations in the location of a site, and there's even content that might concern structural engineers with regards to building materials, life cycle assessment/costing, etc. Of course, a central theme to LEED principles is sustainability, something we're all being asked to be more deliberate about in our work..

    LEED principles are sound, but the details and implementation are not spelled out well in the LEED materials I've reviewed - not a lot of rigor as presented. I'm curious if there are ASCE (especially EWRI) technical committees that are engaged in any way with LEED processes? Are our academic members aware of curricula at theirs or other schools that interface between CE concepts and LEED principles? I'd like to see the CE profession and undergraduate education embrace and build on what LEED is doing, bringing standards and design-level guidance to these principles. Is that already going on? If so, please point me in the right direction.

    Thank you.
     - Glenn Moglen

    Glenn Moglen, PhD, PE, F.EWRI, F.ASCE
    [email protected]
    Silver Spring MD

  • 2.  RE: Intersection between Civil Engineering and LEED principles

    Posted 11-14-2021 05:37 PM
    Dear Glenn, congratulations on your new credentials as LEED Green Associate! As an academic, our CE curriculum at Universidad del Norte (Barranquilla, Colombia; ABET-accredited program) includes a capstone design experience in the last semester (X semester program), where students must adopt all criteria of sustainability in the design of a complete project, in teams of 4 to 5 students (hydraulic, architectural, structural, transportation, etc.). I noticed that we should encourage our students to learn the BIM methodology, considering sustainability criteria.
    Andrés G.

    Andres Guzman Ing., M.ASCE
    Associate Professor

  • 3.  RE: Intersection between Civil Engineering and LEED principles

    Posted 11-16-2021 03:45 PM
    Hi Glenn,
    Great to see you continuing to pursue new ways to interact with our profession! LEED is a great tool. Unfortunately, I cannot speak to all that LEED has to offer, or how/if ASCE is using it. I am curious if you have looked into Envision? It is a credentialing framework focused on infrastructure more broadly. It is managed by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure in partnership with the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at Harvard, so it has that connection to academics. It was founded by APWA, ASCE, and ACEC which ensures it has applied use. I know there is at least one case study from the Stevens Institute of Technology where it is used as a learning tool for capstone projects. Envision began as an expanded version of LEED, so there are similarities. You may want to look into this case study to see if there are elements that could be applied using LEED.

    Take care my friend!
    Philip Maldonado, PE, ENV SP

    Philip Maldonado P.E., M.ASCE
    Goleta CA