ARCH 553 
Design Studio
Haglund Fall 2017



The Environmental Learning Center will be located at the Virgil Phillips Park. Our version of the site master plan and the learning center will be prepared as an entry in the 2017-2018 COTE Top Ten for Students.

"As today's architecture students move into the profession, they will inherit a rapidly changing world, both in terms of the physical contexts of their work, and the tools, materials and processes available to create it. Preparing students for this challenging, dynamic future calls for greater integration of innovative ecological design thinking within the design discourse of universities across the country."

—ACSA Web Site

This project is the tenth in a series of comprehensive studios undertaken in response to Ed Mazria's challenge to the architecture profession to produce carbon neutral buildings by 2030. His case is well-articulated on his web site Both the AIA and the Association of US Mayors have endorsed Mazria's challenge. Mazria reckons that each year in the U.S. we tear down about 1.75 billion square feet; renovate 5 billion, and build 5 billion. Therefore, in 30 years 300 billion square feet will be renovated or built new; that's about 75% of the built environment. If this is accomplished with carbon in mind, global warming can be controlled. Mazria's challenge has expanded to the global scale (we can't have a sustainable country in an unsustainable world) as the UIA World Congress, Durban 2014 has vowed to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050. See the 2050 Imperative. So, on top of the competition requirements, the design must be carbon-neutral. 

Pope Francis in his first encyclical stated: (See

"The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded."

Ryan Smith on the future of practice and education 

"The industry is rapidly advancing and it is clear that if architects do not integrate stakeholders well in the process of building, the industry will continue on without them. Hence the development and existence of the AIA Center for Integrated Practice, a nexus of the TAP, PD, and PM Knowledge Communities, whose mission is to be advocates and advance the role of the architect in integrated practice. Beyond the need to stay relevant in light of emerging technology, there is another reason why architects are critical to the integration paradigm. As a discipline, architects are fundamentally concerned with the critical historical and theoretical ethics of aesthetics, quality, and environmental stewardship – making architects the primary cultural harbinger of the building industry. Finding architectural solutions to the issues of today: social inequality, economic disaster, and environmental causality require an integrated process of collaboration. Therefore, in the end, architecture as a discipline and architects as professionals should and can be leaders in the process of integrated practice."  

AIArchitect on The Sustainability Leadership Opportunity Scan, 2013: (See

Four Priority Issues

A 12-person advisory group of diverse thought leaders helped to synthesize the research into four priority issues that will make the greatest impact for the profession. The scan’s recommendations include two core issues (central to the architect’s current role) and two emerging issues (rapidly escalating areas where architects can contribute to a better environment for current and future generations).

Core Issues

    Energy: Drive building energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy toward meeting the AIA 2030 goals of achieving net-zero energy in buildings.

    • Materials: Equip architects to make informed decisions about material selections based on full life-cycle and health-related criteria.

Emerging Issues

    • Design & Health: Play an active role in improving human health and wellness through the design of the built environment.

    • Resilience: Promote design that adapts to changing conditions and that maintains or regains functionality and vitality in the face of natural and man-made disturbances.

Our goal is to meet or exceed the project goals and to work toward carbon neutrality and zero net energy.

“Sustainability provides the prism through which architects and architecture firms are designing today,” said AIA Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA in a release. “But we still need to have energy modeling become standard for every design project if we are going to meet our ultimate goal of carbon neutral buildings.”

ECOBUILDING Pulse 2013. Posted on: October 23, 2013

Students will accomplish a comprehensive design project in two phases: 

  • Discovery, Programming, Research, and Planning Phase through Sept 18 (4 weeks) 
  • Comprehensive Design Phase through Dec 4 (11 weeks including fall break). 

Collective Programming, Research, and Planning Requirements

This phase simulates the work of an integrated practice where architects, engineers, and landscape architects and their clients and consultants initiate a project and develop its master plan. We'll seek out experts on campus and beyond as well as with our client group and carbon-neutral collaborators to help form our design solutions. 

Each student will have the opportunity to present her/his research to the group and will be required to provide a hard copy for the studio. The research reports should include photo credits, references, and sources of further information. Two to five pages are expected. The Druk White Lotus School case study draft is a pertinent example.

Integrative Design Requirements

NAAB 2014 Conditions for Accreditation defines integrative design as, "Ability to make design decisions within a complex architectural project while demonstrating broad integration and consideration of environmental stewardship, technical documentation, accessibility, site conditions, life safety, environmental systems, structural systems, and building envelope systems and assemblies."

Your work should aim to address Student Performance Criteria in Realms B and C. See pages 16-18 for details.  

Realm B: Building Practices, Technical Skills, and Knowledge. Graduates from NAAB-accredited programs must be able to comprehend the technical aspects of design, systems, and materials and be able to apply that comprehension to architectural solutions. In addition, the impact of such decisions on the environment must be well considered.

Student learning aspirations for this realm include

  • Creating building designs with well-integrated systems.
  • Comprehending constructability.
  • Integrating the principles of environmental stewardship.
  • Conveying technical information accurately

Realm C: Integrated Architectural Solutions. Graduates from NAAB-accredited programs must be able to demonstrate that they have the ability to synthesize a wide range of variables into an integrated design solution.

Student learning aspirations for this realm include

  • Comprehending the importance of research pursuits to inform the design process.
  • Evaluating options and reconciling the implications of design decisions across systems and scales.
  • Synthesizing variables from diverse and complex systems into an integrated architectural solution.
  • Responding to environmental stewardship goals across multiple systems for an integrated solution.

A successful project will have well-developed and well-integrated schemes for:

Ten Sustainability Measures

Measure Methods of Presentation/Metrics
Design for Integration Sustainable design is an inherent aspect of design excellence. Projects should express sustainable design concepts and intentions, and take advantage of innovative programming opportunities.
Design for Community  Sustainable design values the unique cultural and natural character of a given region.
Design for Ecology Sustainable design protects and benefits ecosystems, watersheds, and wildlife habitat in the presence of human development. 
Design for Water Sustainable design conserves water and protects and improves water quality.
Design for Economy Sustainable design celebrates affordable solutions around true economy—good first costs, good long term operations cost, and true benefits for occupant health and productivity.
Design for Energy Sustainable design conserves energy and resources and reduces the carbon footprint while improving building performance and comfort. Sustainable design anticipates future energy sources and needs.
Design for Wellness Sustainable design creates comfort, health, and wellness for people who inhabit or visit buildings.
Design for Resources Sustainable design includes the informed selection of materials and products to reduce product life-cycle embodied energy and carbon, and environmental impacts while enhancing building performance and optimizing occupant health and comfort. Adaptive reuse and renovation/preservation dramatically reduces a buildings material consumption and carbon footprint.
Design for Change Sustainable design anticipates adapting to new uses, climate change, and resilient recovery from disasters.
Design for Discovery Sustainable design strategies and best practices evolve over time through documented performance and shared knowledge of lessons learned.

Carbon Neutral Design Requirements

What is your carbon emissions intent for this project? How do you define success relative to this intent? What evidence that this intent has been successfully met can be found in this project? 

Show how your project meets Architecture2030's or The Living Building Challenge's requirements in all phases of the construction process.

Final Presentation Guidelines

The final critique will be in the format of the competition entry—an abstract (100 words max for each of the ten sustainability measures); a program brief describing the concept, building, and site (500 words max); no more than 4 digital boards (PDF or JPG). Each team may choose any combination of media appropriate to its project, anything from water colors to physical models, to digital media.

Presentations must address all the measures listed above and demonstrate their integration and achievement of carbon emission reduction. The final presentation and images of all drawings, models, and other materials in jpg or pdf format must be turned in by Dec 8.

Course Description




Last Updated on 08/16/16 by Bruce