Ever since the Industrial Revolution, people have had negative effects on the environment due to their desire to achieve economic development. The creators of pollution and those that were harming the nature have been the target for people involved in environmental movements. Thus, studies such as Environmental Science and Engineering and Environmental Architecture have appeared to act as a mediator and find a solution to the current environmental problems. These two majors at Ewha all bear the purpose of cultivating competent students who will create an environmentally-friendly society.
Environmental Science and Engineering
Environmental science and engineering is the study that strives to cure the diseased environment. To be precise, environmental science is the study of making a diagnosis of the environment and environmental engineering is the study of finding how to treat these problems.
The studies in environmental science can be divided into four parts. The four parts include water, air, earth and the ecosystem. In class, each of these four parts is researched in depth. For example, if the focus is on water, the class would observe where and how lakes, rivers, and oceans form. Moreover, the students learn the basic principles about water systems. To actually observe different components of nature, students majoring in environmental science engage in actual experience by holding classes and team projects outside of the classroom.
If the study of environmental science is the diagnosis of the environment, environmental engineering looks for ways to cure the environment. With developed technological methods, environmental engineering seeks for ways to lead an abundant life through the coexistence of the green environment and science technology.
For those who are interested in the environment and want to know more about sustaining it, Professor Park Seok-soon (Environmental Science & Engineering) recommends a course titled the Comprehension of Environment for the Future. It is a course in which students can learn about the basic principle of the ecosystem, history and birth of the Earth, environmental problems that are occurring now due to the industrial revolution and solutions to these problems. The course is open to all Ewha students and is offered during the second semester.
The purpose of environmental architecture is to design and construct buildings that minimize the burden to the environment during the whole lifespan of a building. Such buildings save energy and provide a pleasant and healthy environmental atmosphere when constructed.
With the conclusion of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the treaty stipulates that countries that ratify this protocol commit to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases.
In environmental architecture, there are four levels that students go through to learn about constructing a green and energy-efficient building. First of all, students learn about passive components that are environmentally-friendly. These components include installing shadings in the summer rather than fans or air conditioners, and using day lighting techniques or solar heat in the winter. Second, students move on to learn about the active components of a building. The active components are equipments that actually run the building such as for plumbing, fire safety and thermal systems. After learning passive and active components of a building, professors teach students how to design adequate electric and lighting systems. Based on these techniques, students actually design environmentally-friendly buildings on their own after learning about other subtle techniques essential to the building that were not taught in the three levels mentioned above.
“The most attractive factor of environmental architecture is that we, as designers of buildings, can be a help to keeping nature and the human race healthy. Think about it, the study of pursuing a greener environment itself is appealing,” says Park So-jeong (Architecture, 3). Moreover, Park added that since the students who study environmental architecture have to put in a lot more effort when designing environmentally buildings than other pre-existing buildings, they tend to be more passionate for the study.
Professor Song Seung-yeong (Architecture), who endeavors to foster students who will be able to construct energy efficient buildings in the future notes that it is hard to construct an environmentally-friendly building. “People usually believe that if the end-use energy such as heating and cooling systems or electricity is efficiently used, the building is environmentally friendly. However, embedded energy should also be taken into account when constructing a truly environmentally friendly building.”
More and more people are delving into environmental studies to improve and sustain the environment for the present and future of the human race. These efforts will be of no use if the general public does not pay attention to the environment. “Even small actions such as not using hair spray, always remembering to turn off the light and not using the air conditioner too much should become a habit for everyone in their daily lives,” says Professor Song.