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2013 Upjohn Research Initiative Program – Grant Recipients

Daylighting Design Performance Criteria for Alzheimer Care Facilities, Towards Evidence-based Best Practices for Improved Health

Principal Investigator:
Kyle Konis, PhD, AIA (University of Southern California)

The objective of this research is to establish empirical daylighting design requirements and performance criteria for assisted living facilities serving people with Alzheimer disease. The applicability of performance criteria on design decision-making will be demonstrated through the development of a parametric design decision support tool used to generate multiple best practice design case studies responsive to unique site, program, and climate constraints.

Learning Space Design for the Ethnically Diverse Undergraduate Classroom (PDF)

Principal Investigator:
James Determan, FAIA (Morgan State University)

This study examines the extent to which the design of the physical learning space contributes to enhanced learning outcomes in an undergraduate, active learning class of ethnically diverse students. The study presents findings of data collected from two classrooms, where the course content, instructor, pedagogy and diverse student demographic characteristics are held constant, but the physical design of each space varies – one is a traditional classroom and the other is an active learning, technology-enhanced classroom.
The results of this pilot project show that a diverse student group has produced far improved learning outcomes in the active learning classroom when compared to the traditional classroom. In this study, the students’ social behavior, their own perceptions, and cognitive measures all indicate the physical design of active learning classrooms contributes in mitigating their inhibitions, promoting engagement, and producing enhanced learning outcomes. The results can inform the architectural design of learning spaces to better accommodate the future diverse student classroom.

Responsive Pneumatics: Prototypes for Biologically Inspired Air-Based Envelope Systems

Principal Investigator:
Kathy Velikov (University of Michigan)

This proposal seeks to advance physical prototype-based research examining new performative, formal and aesthetic potentials of cellular pneumatic foil-based envelope systems towards low energy light-transmitting building façade applications. This project aims to advance the architectural possibilities for ultra-lightweight material systems capable of dynamic and variable performance primarily through the use of pressurized air captured within nested and operably responsive cells for building envelope applications.

Sustainable Transparency: Kinetic Building Façades

Principal Investigator:
Kyoung-Hee Kim, PhD (University of North Carolina)

The primary goals of this research are to establish performance-based design guidelines for kinetic façades using the life cycle assessment technique; carry out a performance assessment in the area of energy demands and energy production potential of kinetic façades; develop noble palettes of system components and sustainable materials; and, fabricate a 1:1 prototype of a kinetic façade system implemented from established performance-based design guidelines. Results are expected to impact the building industry by validating efficient constructability and sustainable operation of kinetic façades.

Tenant Engagement in High Performance Buildings and Communities

Principal Investigator:
Julie Kriegh, AIA, LEED AP, CSBA (Kriegh Architecture Studios)

This research proposes to identify, collect, and assess data on the salient aspects of motivation and occupant behavior in select communities in the US, Europe, and Canada. To benefit professionals, academics, and communities, the research team proposes to create a tenant engagement index and test the outcomes through an EcoDistrict pilot project.


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