Sustainability in Construction Management Education: A Case Study of Students’ Attitudes and Beliefs at Two CM Programmes in Ireland and United States

  • Lloyd ScottEmail author
  • Blake Wentz
Conference paper


This study investigated the level of construction students’ familiarity and interest concerning sustainability in the built environment, their ability to identify recognizable sustainable principles, the important areas of sustainable knowledge for students’ employment, and factors affecting students’ outlook towards sustainability. To accomplish its main objectives, this study employed a survey research method as a main method of data collection. The survey instrument was developed by the authors through in-depth literature review in the areas of sustainability, sustainable construction, sustainable education, and transformation of people’s attitude and behaviour. The survey instrument was distributed to Construction Management students in all stages of the programmes of study at the Milwaukee School of Engineering and the Technological University Dublin. The results of descriptive statistics and thematic analysis present the some interesting findings. CM students perceived that they had a relatively high level of familiarity with sustainable construction and sustainability. They identified that knowledge and understanding of the principles of sustainability were important; however, a greater emphasis was placed on the knowledge of environmental rating tools. CM students also believed that general knowledge of sustainability would enhance their chances of securing a career in construction. Finally, several factors of the approaches to teaching and research in sustainability were addressed by the respondents where both US and Irish students indicated that a programme approach to embedding sustainability would be a more favoured approach. They also acknowledged that “practical experience related to sustainability would be very beneficial”, and that “workshops and seminars associated with sustainable development should be offered” that would contribute towards better students’ attitude towards sustainability. Interestingly, there was a very close alignment of attitudes and responses to the survey questions between the two groups.


Construction management education Students’ attitude Sustainability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sustainable Construction Research GroupTechnological University DublinDublinIreland
  2. 2.Milwaukee School of EngineeringMilwaukeeUSA

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