Sustainable Buildings

Sustainable Buildings

University of Oregon Architecture faculty are global leaders in designing healthy, sustainable environments. They employ cutting-edge techniques to understand inhabitant preferences, harvest environmental data, and forecast building performance. They bring research innovations into their teaching and guide students in generating holistic design solutions.

Award-winning educator Professor Kwok’s co-authored books provide strategies and resources for professionals and students to use in schematic design. They include The Green Studio Handbook, Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, and Passive House Details. She has trained students to connect design intent and actual outcome by investigating buildings with sensors and post-occupancy surveys. She has mentored many university teachers to develop exercises to implement at their home institutions. In the picture above, blower door testing is performed on a single-family Passive House project to determine the overall airtightness of a house, areas of air leakage, and treatment to those areas.

Professor Ihab Elzeyadi directs the High Performance Environments lab (HiPE) and supervises net-zero design studios, such as the 2020 Solar Decathalon student competition grand-prize winner. He uses a data-driven and human-centric approach to improve energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and occupant multi-comfort, health, and well-being for clients such as the Saint-Gobain Corporation. In his teaching, he employs digital simulation and a full-scale Facade Innovations Technology testing facility (FIT) that he created for Dynamic Facades R&D. His Net-Zero Schools Toolbox™ project highlights how school designs can promote health, energy savings, and better learning.

Professor Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg is a leader in assessing and mitigating COVID-19 virus distribution. He directs two related multidisciplinary institutes with strong academic and industry partnerships. Institute for Health in the Built Environment (IHBE): Decisions about how buildings and cities are designed, constructed, and managed have significant implications for our own health, and for the health of our planet. Biology in the Built Environment Center (BioBE) develops hypothesis-driven, evidence-based approaches to better understand the microbiome of the built environment.

Associate Professor Philip Speranza uses computational methods and fine-grained environmental data as a means of researching the design of buildings and cities.  His professional practice, Speranza Architecture + Urban Design, employs data-driven passive environmental controls and remote sensing in the design of residential and mixed-use projects, which have included the "Push Pull" House (AIA SWO Honor Award 2018), the Hudson House, and the Birch Residence (AIA SWO Citation Award 2018). The studio received an Oregon Energy Trust Net-Zero Award in 2018.

Baker Lighting Lab Director, Assistant Professor Siobhan Rockcastle, is a pioneer in human-centric design to promote the healthy occupation of buildings. Her research team studies how the perception of (and exposure to) light can drive emotion, comfort, and circadian health. She also explores the use of Virtual Reality to drive design decision-making for daylit and electric lighting environments and is on the board of SimAUD (Simulation in Architecture and Urban Design). Siobhan co-founded OCULIGHT dynamics, a company offering specialized daylight design support to promote healthy indoor occupation.

Professor Judith Sheine is the Director of Design for the TallWood Design Institute, a partnership of the University of Oregon’s College of Design and Oregon State University’s Colleges of Forestry and Engineering focused on the advancement of engineered wood products through research, testing, outreach and education. The Institute’s new home is the A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory at OSU which includes equipment for structural testing, advanced timber manufacturing and digital fabrication.