Building Science

Among the most active sub-program areas in the Design Research track within the Ph.D. Program in Architecture and Design Research is the Building Sciences. With an emphasis on resources conservation and environmentally responsive design, current research by students in this area include evaluation of building components such as dynamic shading systems, green roofs and radiant chilled ceilings, application of design assistance tools such as computational fluid dynamics, development of new analysis techniques that explicitly consider risk and uncertainty in green investment decision-making, design process mapping for materials reuse, and process mapping for net zero design. In addition, students often work with the Center for High Performance Environments on issues related to learning and healthcare environments. Among the current research streams are studies into knowledge capturing and extension of design assistance tools such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) from Information to Knowledge-based design support. Related to this are investigations into workflow and communication issues that limit the implementation of BIM. Methods within these studies range from quantitative (simulation) to qualitative (case studies, interviews and questionnaires). Partnerships with other departments such as engineering, science, education, business, psychology, computer science and others are common to support these activities. The result is a very diverse while focused group of students working to impact the discipline of architecture.