Research-Based Design and Green Buildings: Interdisciplinary Collaboration Between Students, Faculty and Practitioners

Apr 26, 2017

Faculty in the School of Architecture at Portland State University have been awarded four grants totaling over $1,000,000 to transform green building education with an emphasis on interdisciplinary experiences, research-based design, and collaboration with practice. The grants themselves provided resources in (1) scholarships for a diverse, interdisciplinary cohort of students to study building science, (2) equipment and staffing to support the creation new green building research experiences throughout the architecture curriculum, and (3) staffing to coordinate dozens of research collaborations with practice each year.

This paper highlights the progress and lessons learned from three interrelated programs: the Research-based Design Initiative, the Building Science Lab to Advance Teaching, and the Green Building Scholars Program. Issues discussed include barriers to conducting collaborative green building research between the academy and practice, the challenges of interdisciplinary coursework, and how these programs could be a model for other universities.

Kalina Vander Poel (Portland State University)
Corey Griffin (Portland State University)
Presented at: 
2017 AIA / ACSA Intersections Symposium
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)

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