Serious Games for the Built Environment: Eco Material Trumps

  • John Lester ClarkeEmail author
Conference paper


This paper describes the research, development, design, production and analysis of a prototype teaching and learning resource entitled ‘Eco Material Trumps’. A card game is intended to be used within an educational setting and as a source of reference for built environment professionals. The set of cards contain data on the sustainability credentials of common building materials and the aim is for the game to be used to stimulate debate on how, in practice, decision makers need to balance the differing criteria that are used to establish the environmental impact of construction materials. This research has revealed that there is a disparate body of existing knowledge from a wide variety of industry and academic sources related to the subject matter which until now has not been collated into a single resource. One of the main barriers to the development and uptake of games in a learning context is the lack of empirical data to support the hypothesis for its effectiveness, as well as a lack of understanding about how these games might be used most appropriately in practice. This study used a questionnaire to investigate participants’ perceptions of the value and importance of the active learning and cooperative activities they undertook during interactive and experiential workshops and the results and analysis are presented within this paper. Findings from the feedback elicited from workshops show that this resource enables the processing of complex sets of data, brings together data from disparate sources, encourages interaction and discussion, promotes learning through visual and tangible presentation of data and encourages sustainable thinking about and beyond the subject matter.


Sustainable construction materials Environmental impact Game-based learning Experiential learning Teaching and learning resource 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of the Built EnvironmentUniversity College of Estate Management HorizonsReadingUK

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