Alison Kwok is a professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Oregon. She is the Director of the Technical Teaching Certificate program, the NetZED Laboratory, and is co-director of the Ph.D. program.
A sustainable future, for the design of buildings, lies in design integration —making key design decisions about energy use early in the process; encouraging designers to evaluate building performance through post-occupancy follow up; fostering discussion among educators, architects, engineers, and students about design technologies; and promoting a better and closer union between the fields of architecture and engineering.
To fill much-needed gaps in architectural education, Kwok's publications include Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, 13th ed. (with co-author Walter Grondzik) affectionately known as “MEEB” a preeminent teaching and practice reference for building environmental control systems. The Green Studio Handbook 3rd ed. (also co-authored with Walter Grondzik) provides forty-three selected environmental strategies including a description of principles and concepts, step-by-step procedures for integrating the strategy, and 10 case studies demonstrating how it all goes together. Passive House Details: Solutions to High-Performance Design, written with UO Professor Donald Corner and CHPC/architect Jan Fillinger, has numerous, clearly drawn construction details and construction photographs and 14 case studies. With co-instructors for the Environmental Control Systems class, we publish case study books of building performance studies conducted by award-winning graduate and undergraduate students.
Kwok's research areas include adaptive and mitigation strategies for climate change, materials and carbon, thermal comfort, natural ventilation in tropical schools, building performance post-occupancy evaluation, zero net energy strategies, building energy metrics, and collaborative practices. She believes that the integration of these architectural issues yields better buildings. She studies these issues collaboratively with colleagues and students via seminars, design studios, research seminars, and funded research projects. Pedagogy and curriculum innovation is a pressing interest because of the pressing challenges of the environment and a strong belief that architects can make a difference.
Kwok's current research examines "carbon narratives" with a grant from the TallWood Design Institute and schools research on teaching and learning with the California School Facilities Research Institute. She has guided projects with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance; US Green Building Council (USGBC), Passive House Institute US, American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), American Institute of Architects (AIA) and was principal investigator of the Agents of Change project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE). She has served as: board member for the Architectural Research Centers Consortium; past-president of the Society of Building Science Educators; member of several ASHRAE committees; and the USGBC’s Formal Education Committee. Students have also participated with me in design charrettes, workshops, and presentations in China, England, Japan, Korea, and Singapore.
Kwok is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley (MARCH, PHD Architecture), University of Hawai'i (MEd Secondary Education), and of Knox College (BA, biology, art) and is registered architect in Oregon and California.