Sep 13, 2011

Autodesk Offers Free Materials on Net-Zero Energy Buildings, Greener Materials and Energy Efficiency

New Online Sustainable Design Educational Content Helps Prepare Students for Jobs in Design and Engineering.

Autodesk, Inc., a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, introduced new educational content that addresses high-performance building strategies, materials selection and energy effectiveness through the company’s online educational resource, The Autodesk Sustainability Workshop.

The Autodesk Sustainability Workshop provides easy access to free educational content demonstrating precisely how sustainability principles can be used to solve real-world environmental challenges. Autodesk is helping change the way students learn through engaging video, easy-to-use tutorials and in-depth case studies, enabling design, engineering and architecture students to learn how to put sustainable design concepts into practice.

Increasing Workforce Marketability

There is a significant market for architects and engineers equipped to apply sustainable principles and concepts to their work: Pike Research places the market for green building in the United States at an estimated $400 billion within the next 20 years, and the Urban Land Institute places the market potential for commercial building retrofits at $190 billion over the next 10 years.

“Green skills” are also in high demand, with green jobs earning median wages 20 percent higher than other occupations and growing at 8.3 percent per year, compared with 4.2 percent for other occupations, according to a report issued by the Brookings Institution (from 2003 to 2010).

“The Sustainability Workshop breaks down some of the most difficult, abstract concepts, such as materials science, heat transfer and fluid mechanics, into visual, bite-sized pieces,” said Mike Alcazaren, University of Buffalo, School of Engineering, class of 2012. “I've been able to learn strategies and techniques around selecting the right materials and using energy more effectively that will make me a better designer.”

“The videos on the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop are fun, engaging, and full of great information that’s targeted to today’s students,” said Patrick Eagan, professor, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Autodesk is really forward thinking to be teaching these concepts and educating students more broadly about their role in the design process.”

The New Content

The new High Performance Building and Materials Selection resources are currently available and the new Energy Effective Design content will be live on September 29, 2011. The new videos and tutorials provide practical information on:

High-Performance Building teaches design strategies that can help reduce a building’s energy demands. Students learn how to use convection, conduction and radiation to design passive HVAC systems, reduce energy use, and ultimately build net-zero energy buildings.
Materials Selection reveals the ecological impacts of specific materials and different material choices, helping designers make better selections that not only meet their design and cost requirements, but also have the least environmental impact. The strategies presented illustrate the trade-offs to consider, together with methods for improving the materials selection process, to make more sustainable design decisions.
Energy Effective Design demonstrates how design and engineering decisions can reduce energy waste and slow our rising global energy consumption. The new learning tools cover mechanical friction, fluid flow and heat transfer, and show ways to optimize a design for energy effectiveness and efficiency.