Investigating Science and Technology in the Built Environment

Big Build Up’ is an environmental education program for Stage 3 that involves students working scientifically and technologically to redesign an inner city building for a new use. Students will also design and conduct experiments to find out how to improve the building’s energy efficiency.

The program has three main components:

  1. Introductory activities and resources to introduce the students to the project.

2.  A whole day fieldwork experience in the CBD. During the fieldwork day, students will:

  • Visit adaptively reused heritage buildings to learn about design considerations
  • Visit an Environmental Education Centre to learn about sustainable building design
  • Practice drawing virtual 3D models and floor plans
  • Conduct simple experiments to investigate how to improve energy efficiency
  1. Follow up activities to enhance skills in working scientifically and working technologically. Students will work back at school in teams to address a design brief to increase the sustainability of a building.

Syllabus Links

Science and Technology outcomes:

  • Working Technologically
  • Working Scientifically
  • The Built Environment

HSIE Outcome: ENS3.5:Demonstrates an understanding of the interconnectedness between Australian and global environments and how individuals and groups can act in an ecologically responsible manner.

And the cross curriculum content of:

  • Sustainability
  • Information and communication technology
Risk Assessment Pro Forma – Big Build Up
Pre-Visit Activities and Resources

Summary of Learning Sites, Activities and Student Outcomes

Learning Site Activity Student Outcomes Students will be able to: Fieldwork in Action
In your classroom
1. Pre-visit Activities

Students work through the pre-visit activities and write their results and answers on their Student Activity Booklet

Develop their skills in working technologically by undertaking a design task involving the built environments and addressing a design brief.


Customs House

Circular Quay

2. Introduction – Sustainable Building Design

Students will recap on pre visit activities and consolidate knowledge of sustainable building design.

Appreciate the importance of environmental considerations when designing in the built environment.

Customs House

Circular Quay

Rocks Discovery Museum

3. Building visits

Students will view the various design elements in two adaptively reused heritage buildings and classify them into aesthetic, cultural, safety, functional and sustainability categories.

Develop an appreciation of the role of design and technology in shaping built environments and evaluate a built environment in order to recognise the design considerations of aesthetics, culture, safety, functionality and sustainability.

Observatory Hill EEC
4. Working Technologically

Students will learn how to use a floor planner app (home design) on an ipad to create 2 and 3D models.

Select and use techniques for documenting and communicating design ideas including modelling and digital technologies.

Observatory Hill EEC
5. Working Scientifically

Students will conduct simple experiments to works out the most effective type of insulation material.

Develop scientific enquiry skills and the ability to work scientifically in the area of built environments by testing prediction, answering questions and solving problems concerning aspects of the built environment.


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