Digitalization and sustainability in AEC

Course language is English. 3 ECTS. The module is a B.Sc. course and will be offered in winter semester.

The course is newly offered. Days and time of the classes will be defined together with the students. To request enrollment to this course this winter semester, please contact Dr. Thomas Kölzer (thomas.koelzer(at)tuhh.de).

Short summary

The course will focus on sustainability and digitalization in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry and on the dualism between sustainability and digitalization. Concepts towards sustainability and digitalization will be presented and discussed, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, sensor technologies, building information modeling, and data science. In this regard, the main aspects of CO2-emissions and the greenhouse effect, as a direct cause of the emissions, are elucidated, followed by innovative technologies and concepts to be presented. Other main topics are general discussions of the role of AEC industry, aspects of nature and digitalization, and a philosophical view on the implications of climate change. With overviews of digital devices and tools (e.g. augmented reality, cameras, and robots), new opportunities for the use of innovative products in the AEC industry will be highlighted, since plenty of these technologies can help improve existing operations and the use of digital tools will traditional processes. Innovative adaptations can therefore lead to promising opportunities that must be exploited for a sustainable and economic construction industry, as will be discussed in this course.

Course contents

  • Facts about climate change: Modern lifestyle, emissions, damage etc.
  • Concepts and organizations: C2C, IPCC, SDGs etc.
  • Discussion: Nature vs. technology (philosophical views)
  • The role of AEC regarding sustainability: Cement, sand, timber, transport etc.
  • Background: Emissions, gases, greenhouse effect etc.
  • Energy – fossil and renewable sources: Biomass, coal, oil, gas, sun, wind, water etc.
  • Digital technologies: VR, AR, apps, sensors, scanners, robotics, cameras etc.
  • Digital concepts: Big data, blockchain, artificial Intelligence, machine learning etc.
  • Digital infrastructure: Smart cities, digital twins, autonomous driving, digital contracts etc.
  • Digital applications in AEC: Scan-to-BIM, computer vision, structural health monitoring, construction robotics, generative design etc.
  • Innovative combinations of ecological and digital elements