1212 Excellence in building science education: Experiences with a Central European experiment
Keywords:building science, building technology, curriculum development, environmental education, multidisciplinary teaching
The spectrum of educational programs in building science is wide and diverse. Whereas the academic landscapes across the world vary significantly, general discourse postulates certain rather broad characterizations. For instance, some schools, especially in the Anglo-Saxon context, are suggested to target a selective, private, and high-tuition approach. Others, particularly in the European context, have a more broad, public, and affordable nature. Even though highly simplistic and perhaps even misleading, this distinction has been frequently accompanied by the implicit assumption that true excellence (the so-called world-class) education in general and building science education in particular is possible only in the former settings. In this paper, we report on a specific academic degree program, namely the Master in Building Science and Technology (BST) program, which may be argued to cast doubt on this assumption. Initiated at TU Wien, Austria, BST was offered over a period of almost two decades. In this paper, we briefly present the genesis of this program, its features, its accomplishments, and its termination. Thereby, our primary objective is to inform similar and future initiatives, particularly across Central Europe, where many public universities exist, the building industry has a substantial presence, and the education of a future generation of technically competent, environmentally conscious, and socially responsible building planners and engineers is of essence.