Building construction: Interdisciplinary Capstone projects Conference Paper uri icon


  • The past four fall semesters, the COSC 440 Interdisciplinary Capstone classes of graduating construction science seniors have been teamed up with COSC 663, Sustainable Construction and charged with forming several design companies that will team up with construction companies to form Design-Build Companies. The companies will respond to a real life RFP for a building that meets and exceeds LEED 3.0 Platinum requirements, a Net Zero. Both classes are expected to coordinate the work among the respective companies. There is a final presentation of the companies' responses to the RFP, held at the Texas A&M University Systems building where real companies compete for real projects. The proposals and presentations are reviewed and ranked by a jury of construction industry professionals. The written proposals are ranked and a separate ranking is done for the oral presentations. Grades are influenced by team rankings as determined by outside jurors. Students peer evaluate each other for performance according to posted rubrics; student project grades are affected by the peer evaluation. This approach has been very successful in the past four years and the current class of 23 attracted 1 landscape urban planning, 6 civil, 7 architecture, and 9 building construction students, resulting in a truly interdisciplinary class and team composition. The goal of this paper is to showcase the framework, structure, and logic for integrating the two courses and compares the results in terms of grades and quality of the responses from the faculty and the jurors. All classes were asked to keep track of weekly percent plan complete (PPC) and interestingly, the virtual companies with the best PPC were the ones that won the RFP project. The descriptive method of qualitative research is used. This method is used when an author is developing a coherent and comprehensive view of the subject at hand from the perspective of the faculty, students and jurors that are subjects of the study as well as observers (Oakley 1994). The motivation is to share an integrative teaching method that is finding traction among students and is highly successful, according to the participants. 2012 American Society for Engineering Education.

published proceedings

  • ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

author list (cited authors)

  • Fernandez-Solis, J. L.

complete list of authors

  • Fernandez-Solis, JL

publication date

  • January 2012