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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction 2 Background Information Early in the study the committee recognized that in order to address properly the education of architects and engineers for careers involving the design, construction, and operation of buildings and other constructed facilities, it would need a good understanding of both the design and construction industry, the roles of architects and engineers in that industry, and the academic systems under which architects and engineers are trained. Accordingly, the committee analyzed on the construction industry and the relevant academic community. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE U.S. DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY The key characteristics of the design and construction industry germane to this study are described below: The industry is very large and diverse, and its health is of vital importance to the nation's economy and standard of living. Therefore, anything that might adversely affect the industry (such as deficiency in the educational system for producing professionals critical to that industry) is of national concern. The size and diversity of the industry are demonstrated by the following statistics:
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction The value of new construction put in place in 1991 (MacAuley, 1993) was $403 billion, of which $293.5 billion was private construction and $109.9 billion was public construction (of which an estimated $51.7 billion was federally financed; see Construction Review, 1991). Private construction included (MaCauley, 1993): $157.8 billion in residential construction, $97.8 billion in nonresidential building construction, $2.6 billion in farm construction, and $32.4 billion in public utility construction. Public construction included: $49.2 billion in public building construction, $32.0 billion in highways and street construction, $9.3 billion in sewer system construction, $4.6 billion in construction of water supply facilities, and $4.9 billion in construction related to conservation and development. Construction currently represents about 7.3 percent of the gross domestic product and employs approximately 4.5 million people. The value of architectural, engineering, and surveying services totaled $73.7 billion in 1991 (Bureau of the Census, 1992). (An unknown fraction of this amount is included in the preceding statistics for the value of construction put in place.) The industry comprises a large number of mostly small, local, and very competitive establishments. In addition, business activity in the industry is highly cyclical, especially at the local level, and employee turnover rates are high. Consequently, survival in the design and construction industry depends on keeping efficiency up and overhead down. Most design and construction firms are, therefore, reluctant to hire untrained engineers and architects or to invest in expensive training, particularly since the trainees are likely to leave in the near future. The composition of the design and construction industry is indicated by the following statistics: In 1987 the number of construction firms in the United States totaled 1.9 million, of which some 443,000 were general contractors engaged in building construction (both residential and nonresidential), 59,000 were general contractors engaged in heavy construction, and 1.4 million were specialty contractors of various types (Bureau of Census, 1987). The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports that in 1991 there were about 17,000 architectural firms owned by AIA members, and that the average annual gross billings of these
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction firms was $517,000. Thirty percent of the firms were sole practitioners; 56 percent had more than one but fewer than 10 employees; and only 5 percent had more than 20 employees (AIA, 1992). Authoritative statistics on the number of consulting engineering firms involved in construction-related work in the United States are not available. The July 1993 catalog of the American Business Lists Company, which sells mailing lists compiled from telephone listings, shows a total of 23,538 consulting engineers (firms and individuals) in the United States. However, it is not known how many of those are involved in construction work or how many are duplicate listings for the same firm. Members of the staff of the American Consulting Engineers Council estimate that there are now approximately 15,000 consulting engineering firms in the United States and that the average firm probably employs fewer than 10 professionals. It is believed that a large fraction of these firms are involved in construction-related work. ROLE OF ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS IN THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION PROCESS Architects and engineers are employed by a wide variety of organizations that are involved in the design and construction process. In most cases these employees play key roles as organizational technical specialists or managers. Specifically, architects and engineers are employed by the following organizations in the related capacities: Design firms. Planners, designers, cost analysts, specification writers, drafters, project managers and field inspectors. Construction firms. Superintendents, cost estimators, project managers, construction managers, and technical advisors. Building owners and developers. Planners, designers (usually of small projects), writers of technical criteria, cost analysts, field representatives, project managers, and managers of operations and maintenance activities. 1 Fabricators and manufacturers of building products. Researchers, 1 “Building owners” include other organizations in the list such as building product manufacturers, academic institutions, and government agencies, and they also employ architects and engineers in the capacity of building owners.
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction product designers, applications engineers, sales representatives, technical service representatives, and manufacturing engineers. Academic institutions. Teachers and researchers. Government agencies. Planners, designers, project managers, building code officials, zoning officials, fire marshals, safety inspectors, technical advisors, and researchers. Professional societies, trade associations, and standards organizations. Technical coordinators, researchers, and information specialists. Independent research and testing organizations. Researchers and test coordinators. One important characteristic of the design and construction industry is that a large fraction of the architects and engineers it employs are licensed to practice by a state government. Licensing is required for professionals in private practice, but many professionals in the industry also obtain licenses for reasons of prestige. Complete statistics on the number of architects and engineers employed in their various capacities by organizations within the general design and construction industry are not available. However, inferences can be drawn from available statistics. Statistics for the 56,000 members of the AIA indicate that: 82 percent are employed by architectural firms. 5 percent are employed by other design firms. 2 percent are employed by contractors or builders. 3 percent are employed by government agencies. 1 percent are employed by commercial, industrial, or institutional organizations. 2 percent are employed by academic institutions. 5 percent are employed by “other” organizations (AIA, 1992). Similar statistics are not available for the 30,000 or more licensed architects who are not AIA members or for the thousands of professionals who hold architectural degrees but are not licensed. However, it is likely that many of these architects are employed in a capacity other than with architectural firms, since for them licensing and AIA membership are less important than for architects who stamp drawings. Thus, while the majority of graduates of architectural schools probably are employed as architects, a significant fraction of them undoubtedly are not working as licensed professionals. While statistics on the total employment of engineers by the overall design and construction industry are not available, an estimate would
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction suggest more than 200,000 professionals. Just two engineering societies closely associated with the industry (the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) together have more than 160,000 members (Russell, 1994), the vast majority of whom work in the design and construction industry. Moreover, many thousands of engineers who work in the design and construction industry are not members of these societies. Information on the construction portion of the industry only—specifically general and specialty contractors that erect facilities —indicates that in 1989 there were 21,000 engineers employed in construction; of these, 7,000 were civil engineers; 3,000 were electrical engineers; 1,000 were industrial engineers; 4,000 were mechanical engineers; and 6,000 were classified as “other” engineers (National Science Board, 1991). (It is noteworthy that the total number of construction engineers dropped dramatically during the 1980s, from 50,000 at the beginning of the decade to 21,000 at the end.) If the committee's estimate of 200,000 is reasonably accurate, then approximately 10 percent of the engineers employed by the industry are involved exclusively in the construction phase of the design and construction process. Although statistics on the activities of engineers employed in the design and construction industry per se are not available, statistics on the primary activities of employed engineers of all types were presented in a 1985 National Research Council report (NRC, 1985). The statistics, which were based on unpublished National Science Foundation data, indicated the following: 0.9 percent were in basic research. 3.8 percent were in applied research. 27.9 percent were involved in development (including design). 8.7 percent were research and development managers. 19.3 percent were managers of other activities. 2.1 percent were teachers. 16.6 percent were involved in production or inspection. 20.7 percent were doing other work, such as consulting, reporting, statistical work, and computing. THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM FOR ARCHITECTS Architectural education programs in the United States are accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB), a private corporation with a board of directors composed of representatives of the AIA, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, Inc., the
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the American Institute of Architecture Students, and the public. Established in 1940, the NAAB sets criteria and procedures for evaluating architectural education programs that grant the first professional degree in architecture, either a Bachelor of Architecture degree, granted after at least 5 years of study, or a Master of Architecture degree, which requires an additional 2 or 3 years after a 4-year bachelor's degree, depending on whether the bachelor's is related to architecture. There are currently 100 accredited architectural programs in the United States; 73 have 5-year professional bachelor's degree programs; 2 41 have 4-year pre-professional bachelor's degree programs; 32 have 2-year master's degree programs; and 39 have 3-year master's degree programs. (The sum of different degree programs exceeds the total number of accredited programs because many schools offer more than one degree.) 3 The number of architectural degrees of various types awarded in 1992 by accredited schools was as follows: 3,008 five-year professional bachelor's degrees; 2,677 four-year pre-professional bachelor's degrees; and 1,427 two-year and three-year master's degrees. In 1992 the average architectural program had 19 full-time and 16 part-time faculty members, plus three related faculty members (i.e., faculty from other departments who taught courses in the architectural program), and 10 graduate teaching assistants. The NAAB conditions for accreditation do not include specific curriculum requirements other than the following: For 5-year (bachelor's degree) and 6-year (master's degree) programs at least 20 percent of the total credit hours must be devoted to liberal arts studies outside of the school of architecture, not more than 60 percent of the total credit hours can be in required architectural courses, and at least 20 percent of the total hours must be in elective architectural courses. For 3-year (master's degree) programs, at least 20 percent of the required hours must be in elective courses related to architecture. Instead of specifying course requirements, NAAB has adopted 2 Ten of these have “4 years plus 1 year” undergraduate programs. 3 Unpublished statistics from NAAB.
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction “achievement-oriented performance criteria,” which describe knowledge considered necessary for the practice of architecture. The criteria are set forth in 54 statements describing what students should learn prior to graduation in terms of three “levels of accomplishment”: awareness, understanding, and ability. The criteria statements are grouped under four major headings: Fundamentals (social, environmental, aesthetic, and technical); design; communications; and practice (project, process, economics, business practice and management, and laws and regulations). To be accredited an institution must provide documentation that its graduates satisfy the performance criteria and its program meets other broad requirements regarding faculty, physical and information resources, enrichment opportunities, and financial resources. An institution's written report is validated by an NAAB visiting team, which conducts an on-site evaluation of the program. The NAAB criteria do not mention the design studio, an element which has been the cornerstone of the architectural education system in the United States and elsewhere for more than 100 years. The design studio's importance for this report derives from its being a unique feature of architectural education that sets it apart from engineering education. The design studio approach, developed by the École des Beaux Arts in Paris in the 19th century, stresses learning by doing. Typically, a group of students is assigned a design problem early in the school term, which they work on with the help and guidance of instructors. At the end of the term, the completed designs are judged and criticized by a jury of professors and guest architects (Steward, 1988). Although aspects of the design studio approach have been criticized, there are no serious proposals to abandon it. 4 Others believe its value lies in its holistic approach to the design process. Another important aspect of architectural education is the AIA Intern Development Program. Recognizing that academic training does not and cannot fully train an architect to obtain a license and practice his or her profession, the AIA created the program for architectural interns to receive practical experience in a systematic manner under the guidance of a member of the AIA sponsor (AIA, 1993a). 4 The aspect of the studio approach that has received the most criticism is the jury method of critique, which many students and faculty believe tends to discourage students rather than to educate them. The problem alleged is that too many jury members seem to compete with one another to see who can give the harshest criticism, often without giving any constructive suggestions (Anthony, 1991).
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM FOR ENGINEERS Engineering education programs in the United States are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), a private corporation founded in the early 1930s. The Membership of ABET comprises 27 professional engineering societies, 21 of which are “participating bodies,” meaning that they have responsibility for evaluating “15 or more ABET-accredited programs leading to degrees in engineering, engineering technology, or engineering-related fields.” The other six member societies are either associate or affiliate bodies. The governing body of ABET is the Board of Directors, which includes at least one, but not more than three, representatives of each participating body. ABET accredits three broad categories of programs: engineering programs, engineering technology programs, and engineering-related programs (see box below; also see ABET, 1990). ABET, like its architectural counterpart, establishes accrediting criteria and procedures and evaluates programs based on written reports from the institutions seeking accreditation and on-site inspections by visiting teams. ABET is also similar to its architectural counterpart in that it accredits only basic professional degree programs, which in most cases are bachelor's degree programs but in a few instances are master's degree programs. ABET does not accredit master's degree programs unless the master's degree has been designated the primary professional degree for DEFINITION OF ENGINEERING Engineering is defined as a profession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences gained by study, experience, and practice is applied with judgment to develop ways to economically utilize the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind. DEFINITION OF ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY Engineering technology is that part of the technological field that requires the application of scientific and engineering knowledge and methods combined with technical skills in support of engineering activities; it lies in the occupational spectrum between the craftsman and the engineer at the end of the spectrum closest to the engineer. DEFINITION OF ENGINEERING-RELATED PROGRAMS Engineering-related programs in higher technical education are mathematics and science-based programs that do not fit the strict definitions of either engineering or engineering technology but have close practical and academic ties with engineering. With appropriate participation from societies representing specific engineering-related professional disciplines, engineering-related programs may be structured to prepare graduates for entry into professional practice in a discipline that is neither engineering nor engineering technology.
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction the program. ABET refers to such programs as “advanced-level” programs. All other programs are referred to as “basic-level” programs, varying in length 4, 4.5, or 5 years, at the discretion of the institution. ABET delegates responsibility for developing accreditation criteria and evaluating programs to three subunits called accreditation commissions —one each for engineering programs, engineering technology programs, and engineering-related programs. The 29 program areas for which the Engineering Accreditation Commission was responsible in 1991 are listed in Table 1 (ABET, 1991). The table also shows the number of accredited programs as of September 30, 1991, totaling 1,432 basic-level programs and 30 advanced-level programs. The current accreditation criteria of ABET are very specific compared to the criteria of NAAB. For example, the ABET criteria for faculty address the size and competence of the faculty, standards and quality of instruction, and evidence of concern about improving teaching techniques. Similarly, the ABET criteria for curricular content specify the number of years that must be devoted to mathematics and basic science, engineering science, engineering design, and the humanities and social sciences. However, ABET is considering replacing its current detailed criteria with lists of competencies expected of engineering graduates, similar to the NAAB approach (Hogg, 1993a). Not all engineering programs are accredited by ABET—some programs are unaccredited by choice and some because they do not meet ABET requirements. 5 In 1988, for example, the National Science Foundation counted 370 institutions awarding bachelor's degrees in engineering (National Science Board, 1991), while ABET accredited programs in only 261 institutions during the 1990–91 academic year (ASEE, 1992). Total enrollment in traditional engineering undergraduate programs (both accredited and unaccredited) in the United States in 1989 was 378,000, of which approximately 339,000 were full-time students and 40,000 were part-time students (National Science Board, 1991). Civil engineering programs are, of course, particularly relevant to the design and construction industry. In 1991, 256 institutions had ABET-approved civil engineering programs, collectively awarding 7,767 bachelor's degrees in civil engineering. 6 The average program had ap- 5 Unaccredited schools are not necessarily small, poor, or disreputable. For example, Engineering News Record reported in November 1991 that two renowned institutions in California —Stanford University and California Institute of Technology—dropped their ABET accreditation due to “discontent” with ABET (Rubin and Rosebaum, 1991). 6 These statistics on civil engineering programs come from the ASEE (1992). The statistics do not agree with ABET statistics because ASEE includes other disciplines in the civil engineering category, for example, architectural engineering, construction engineering, and environmental engineering.
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction TABLE 1 Total Accredited Engineering Programs as of September 30, 1992, by Program Area PROGRAM AREA BASIC LEVEL ADVANCED LEVEL TOTAL Aerospace, Astro * 57 4 61 Agricultural 46 46 Architectural 13 13 Bioengineering 20 20 Ceramic 12 Chemical 145 1 207 Civil * 206 1 207 Computer 69 2 71 Construction 6 6 Electrical & Electronic * 255 3 258 Engineering (General) 31 31 Engineering Management 2 1 3 Engineering Mechanics 9 9 Engineering Physics, Engineering Science 28 28 Environmental * 11 8 19 Forest 2 2 Geological, Geophysical 18 18 Industrial * 93 1 94 Manufacturing * 10 3 13 Materials 30 30 Mechanical * 10 3 13 Metallurgical 30 30 Mineral 3 3 Mining 18 17 Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering 12 12 Nuclear 25 1 26 Ocean 6 2 8 Petroleum 21 21 Plastics 1 1 Surveying 6 6 Systems 11 1 12 Welding 1 1 Other (EAC of ABET) 6 6 (Dual programs counted twice) −5 −5 TOTAL 1,432 30 1,462 * Programs interspersed among these disciplines are dual programs (e.g., aeronautical and mechanical engineering) and are counted twice.
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction proximately 15.7 full-time-equivalent faculty members. Five of the programs were nominally 5-year programs; five were nominally 4.5-year programs; and the rest were nominally 4-year programs. (However, the average student took more than the standard number of years to get a degree.) The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) is another important organization in engineering education. ASEE is the successor to the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education (SPEE), formed in 1893 to improve classroom instruction techniques and promote acceptance of the idea that engineering education should concentrate on teaching scientific and mathematical principles rather than giving hands-on experience. 7 The history of the SPEE/ASEE has been marked by a continuing debate over many of the same issues that prompted this study: How should an engineering curriculum be divided between technical, professional, and general education? How much practical engineering work is needed? How long should an engineering education take? Over the years SPEE/ASEE has made repeated efforts to resolve these questions by sponsoring or participating in studies on the subject. The results of one of the earliest studies were presented in the Mann Report, 8 published in 1918 with financial support from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement in Teaching. The report called for (a) educators to define what engineering students needed to learn (b) a common curriculum for the first 2 or 3 years, covering both engineering in industry and basic science and mathematics (c) more attention to values and culture (d) dropping foreign language requirements (e) making shop courses more meaningful (f) teaching theory and its application to practice simultaneously (g) promoting cooperative education and (h) using aptitude testing as part of the admissions process (to mitigate the 60 percent dropout rate in engineering schools). Those familiar with recent discussions of engineering education will note that many of these recommendations are still being made. The Mann Report was followed by the Wickenden Report, 9 which was completed in the early 1930s. Like the Mann Report it included recommendations still under debate; for example, it proposed that (a) 7 This and much of the material that follows was drawn from a review of the history of SPEE and ASEE by Terry S. Reynolds and Bruce E. Seely, which was published in the July 1993 issue of the Journal of Engineering Education (Reynolds and Seely, 1993). 8 Named for the study coordinator, Dr. C.R. Mann, a physicist from the University of Chicago. 9 Named for the study director, William Wickenden, a vice president of AT&T.
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction engineering programs not be made longer than 4 years, (b) technical specialization be reduced at the undergraduate level, and (c) studies of economics and the liberal arts be added to the engineering curriculum. The study resulted in the establishment of an accreditation organization for engineering programs, which became the ABET. Subsequent SPEE studies were conducted in 1935 in conjunction with the U.S. Office of Education and in 1940 by H.P. Hammond, dean of engineering at Pennsylvania State University. The former examined graduate engineering programs, and the latter addressed the aim and scope of engineering education. After World War II, additional studies were undertaken, including two headed by L.E. Grinter—one on methods of instruction completed in 1952 and another on engineering curricula completed in 1955. The report of the latter study was especially influential because it recommended increased emphasis on fundamental science and mathematics, legitimizing and encouraging a trend already underway. The next major ASEE study, under the direction of Eric Walker, then dean of engineering at Pennsylvania State University, concerned the goals of engineering education. A preliminary report of the study was published in 1965. It recommended (a) strengthening liberal education for engineers (b) basing engineering curricula on engineering science (c) improving work in analysis, synthesis, and design (d) encouraging cooperation between industry, government, and universities (e) increasing funding for research (f) improving continuing education and (g) making the master's degree in an engineering specialty the basic professional degree for engineers, with the bachelor's degree being a general engineering degree. The last recommendation was met with considerable opposition; however, it was not dropped from the final report of the committee (in 1968) although it was softened. Reynolds and Seely (1993) note that since 1968 ASEE has continued to focus on teaching, whereas many engineering faculty have become more interested in research. Reynolds and Seely suggest that this is the reason the National Science Foundation charged the National Research Council rather than ASEE to conduct a major study in the mid-1980s of engineering education and practice in the United States. The results of this study were published in a set of nine reports —eight panel reports plus the report of the basic committee. The panel reports covered education systems, undergraduate education, graduate education and research, technology education, continuing education, infrastructure diagramming and modeling, engineers' employment characteristics, engineering in society, and support organizations and the engineering community. The report of the basic committee (NRC, 1985) included 23 recommendations. The committee essentially recommended against actions
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Education of Architects and Engineers for Careers in Facility Design and Construction that could fundamentally alter the current educational system for engineers; however, the committee also noted that there were serious problems relating to financial support, curricula, and policies and practices that needed to be addressed. Accordingly, the committee presented specific recommendations on these topics. One recommendation called for using retirees as teachers to alleviate the engineering faculty shortage and another endorsed the idea that the bachelor 's degree should be the general engineering degree with specialization postponed until graduate school. About the same time that the National Research Council reports were being published, the ASEE initiated another broad review of engineering education by a task force headed by Edward David. The task force published its report (National Action Agenda for Engineering Education) in 1987. The report called for more emphasis on design and manufacturing in the engineering curriculum and for more practice-oriented (rather than research-oriented) master's programs.
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Representative terms from entire chapter: