Activity Introduction

house-heroQuick summary: In this activity students will investigate the concept of embodied energy and why it should be considered when designing and building a house. Students will create a poster, infographic, PowerPoint or Prezi on this topic and present this to the class.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand that different materials utilise different levels of energy in their production and transportation to building sites.
  • Students consider the use of high embodied energy materials and make informed decisions about there.

General Capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, numeracy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 7 & 8 Design Technologies:

  • Examine and prioritise competing factors including social, ethical and sustainability considerations in the development of technologies and designed solutions to meet community needs for preferred futures (ACTDEK029)
  • Analyse how food and fibre are produced when designing managed environments and how these can become more sustainable (ACTDEK032)

Year 7 Science

  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions (ACSIS130)
  • Reflect on the method used to investigate a question or solve a problem, including evaluating the quality of the data collected, and identify improvements to the method (ACSIS131)

Year 8 Science

  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions (ACSIS145)
  • Reflect on the method used to investigate a question or solve a problem, including evaluating the quality of the data collected, and identify improvements to the method (ACSIS146)

Year 8 Mathematics

  • Choose appropriate units of measurement for area and volume and convert from one unit to another (ACMMG195)

Syllabus Outcomes: SC4-7WS, SC4-6WS, T4.1.2, T4.1.3, T4.4.1, T4.6.2, SC4-13ES

Topic: Consumption, Energy.

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity.

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheets.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Keywords: Building, houses, embodied energy.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

blue-skyTeacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: In this activity students will investigate and develop an understanding of embodied energy.

Teacher content information: Embodied energy is the energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a building, from the mining and processing of natural resources to manufacturing, transport and product delivery. Embodied energy does not include the operation and disposal of the building material. This would be considered in a life cycle approach. Embodied energy is the ‘upstream’ or ‘front-end’ component of the lifecycle impact of a home.

The single most important factor in reducing the impact of embodied energy is to design long life, durable and adaptable buildings.

Hot tips: Be wary of using international sources of measurement as their embodied rating for particular materials may be differ to ours due to the proximity of the raw materials used in production and distance covered in transportation. Just clarify thi

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Student Worksheet

Part 1: Preparation

Before coming to the classroom, please watch the following two clips and answer the associated questions:

Environmental Properties of Materials, How to Choose Green Materials (http://youtu.be/lJKcoUUEeJ0)

Reflect on how your thinking has changed by completing the table below.

I used to think …

but now I think …

Building with low embodied energy products (http://youtu.be/78lNrwBNdR0)

Reflect on how your thinking has changed by completing the table below.

I used to think …

but now I think …

 

After watching the videos, answer these questions -

1) Research and write your own definition of 'embodied energy':

2) How does embodied energy apply to building materials? Research and explain one example not discussed in the videos:

For more information, visit Your Home, Australia's guide to environmentally sustainable houses.

Part 2. Embodied energy in building materials

Modern domestic b

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