ASEE NCS Conference 2019

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Heat Transfer Projects Including Social Justice Issues

Heat Transfer Projects Including Social Justice Issues Shelter from the environment is a basic human need; effective shelter in cold or hot climates necessarily involves control of energy flows to assure a comfortable interior space. Heat load analysis is often one of the first topics covered in a typical heat transfer class and provides a perfect springboard to including social justice issues surrounding shelter, or more specifically housing. The topic of this paper will be a number of projects undertaken by the Heat Transfer class at GVSU that involved a technical analysis of various houses or buildings in the neighborhood of our urban campus as a starting point of a larger conversation. Issues such as high percentages of rental properties, rising levels of development and displacement of lower income residents, poor energy performance of rental properties leading to disproportionately large electric and gas bills while the houses stay cold in winter and hot in summer, must all be considered when making recommendations for changes to these buildings. These projects have been structured so that students are required to consider the social, economic, environmental, and regulatory embedding for their proposed solutions. This is in keeping with the new ABET requirements.

Shirley Fleischmann
United States


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