Teaching civil engineers of the future the planning, design and construction of sustainable urban infrastructure systems is a multifaceted challenge. This paper presents case studies from two universities in the United Kingdom that design and deliver teaching modules in sustainable construction. The case studies presented here are integral to the curriculum design and delivery of a module entitled ‘Sustainable Construction’ offered to the first year undergraduate students registered at Teesside University and another, multidisciplinary design module called ‘Design of Sustainable Engineering Systems2 (DSES2)’ offered to the second year civil engineering students at Newcastle University. The academic institutions and the engineering professions as a whole have sincere intentions of imparting intellectual and technical capabilities consistent with Sustainable Design (SD) and so they must invest in the creation of learning environments that are appropriate for Sustainable Design education. The universities owning the modules presented in this paper have recognized the challenges associated with the delivery of SD skills among their students. This appreciation of the difficulties led them to innovate and as a result they were able to introduce novel changes to the curriculum delivery of civil engineering programmes. The authors for this paper have been using a range of different pedagogic strategies including problem-based, design-based and self-directed learning methods in their efforts to deliver SD concepts in urban environments. Particular attention is paid to the epistemic methods that are transferable in nature and can be implemented by other academic institutions delivering Sustainable Design education to their students from science and engineering degree programmes.