Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Klotz, Leidy E

Committee Member

Piratla , Kalyan R

Committee Member

Heine , Ulrike


Community destruction and loss of life due to residential building code (RBC) violations still occur too frequently. Increasing RBC enforcement is often not possible due to lack of funds and resources. Teaching RBC to college-level construction students is another way to encourage greater code compliance and enhanced community resilience. This research assesses the current status of RBC education in accredited construction programs, identifies academic and industry perspectives of RBC education, and constructs 'best practice' RBC teaching strategies.
A mix method, exploratory approach including three distinct phases explains the current phenomenon - RBC education emphasis within university curriculums. My research found that RBC is not included in most construction programs; however, both industry and academia believe the topic is important and should be taught. Industry professionals cite 'on-the-job' training as how they learned RBCs. However, over 90% agreed RBC should be taught prior to industry experience - within degree programs. Academics' believe, at minimum, students should understand the 'bigger-picture' of why RBCs are important and display proficiency in recognition. The most appropriate time to integrate RBC education is after students learn design principles. Typically design principles are taught in the first year or two of programs, indicating RBC education should begin in year three of four-year programs or in the second year of two-year programs. Additionally, faculty indicated increased motivation to teach RBC if free course modules were available. Course modules would be most useful as student aids and resources during design practice. The research concludes RBC education is perceived as valued educational information yet little is being done to address the issue. Future research should focus on overcoming the faculty barriers towards teaching RBC and developing higher cognitive RBC learning strategies related for students.



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