Green R+D: Case Studies in Sustainability

This class provides a forum for the investigation of advances in the design of green buildings, components, and assemblies. Design pull, the push of technology, and market demands drive developments in building products. This course focuses on innovations in the architectural application of sustainable technologies. Taking a case study approach, discussions will explore key design research initiatives and examine the holistic collaborative design and engineering of select buildings, as well as the research development process of bringing ideas from the incubation of a concept to mass application in the building market. Case study topics will encompass buildings and building components and systems, with presentations by guest lecturers as well as site visits. Building and integrated engineering analysis will include selected examples from the AIA\’s Top Ten Green Buildings awards, the BedZed development by Bill Dunster, the first C2C Cradle to Cradle house, and key projects by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Norman Foster, Thomas Herzog, William McDonough, and Ken Yeang. Pivotal engineering collaborations with Arup, Atelier Ten, and Battle and MacCarthy will be examined in parallel with glazing research by Arup faC\’ade group, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and the in-house R+D by Permasteelisa. We will also investigate the Research and Development of components and assemblies, studies of agri-fiber and green resin panels and framing products, insulated thermal mass walls, green roof and walls, building integrated solar energy systems, on-site renewable energy systems, and construction waste recycling. Frameworks that create continuously improving and innovative design, development, and application processes will be outlined and their strategies and tactics analyzed. Students will be challenged to investigate and analyze emerging technologies through a semester-long design of a prototype assembly. In addition, students will investigate and present alternative advances in green technology, providing a forum for examining competing examples and design application. Each student will have the opportunity to engage key consultants concurrent with development of their design and prototype project. Prototyping may utilize the CAD-CAM and the materials library resources as appropriate. There will be interim crits, regular consultations, and a final review with guest critics of the student\’s prototype project.