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Eco Material Trumps – A Serious Game for Teaching and Learning in the Built Environment
A workshop presenting the unique resource ‘Eco Material Trumps’ is proposed. The workshop is highly practical and experiential and requires participants to interact with a non-traditional form of teaching and learning through playing the Eco Material Trumps game and then reflecting upon its efficacy. Participants are introduced to gamification theory and practice, behavioural change theory, drivers of climate change in the construction sector, lifecycle considerations and the theoretical background to the development of the resource, Eco Material Trumps. A questionnaire is undertaken at the end of the game to elicit key qualitative data and to inform further discussion. The Eco Material Trumps card game contains data on six key sustainability features for 44 common construction materials, enabling participants to compare and contrast their sustainability credentials. The aim is to inform and 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. Research has shown that there is a disparate body of existing knowledge related to the subject matter which until now has not been collated into a single resource. The use of construction materials has a significant impact on the natural environment in terms of energy use, the burning of fossil fuels, CO2 emissions, the depletion of finite resources, air, water and ground pollution, biodiversity and the production of waste. During the design and construction phase CO2 emissions can be reduced by as much as 30% through the careful selection of materials. Feedback from built environment students, academics and professionals from previous workshops has elicited positive comments, as being a ‘fun’, ‘informative’, ‘engaging’ and ‘interesting’ experience.