Research-based design as translational energy research between the academy and practice
Research-based design uses quantitative data collected from existing buildings, generated through rapid prototyping and testing, or simulated using parametric and genetic computer modeling to reduce resource consumption through improved design. Outlining several models for aligning academic architectural research with the needs of practice, this presentation focuses on the advantages and challenges in using graduate-level building science coursework as vehicle for translational research. Grants, along with the resources of an existing research lab focused on green buildings, transformed traditional lecture-based building science and technology courses into a series of on-going, graduate level seminars that revolve around two primary activities: (1) architecture and engineering students conduct building science research of relevance to a project currently under design in a firm and (2) students are embedded in project teams where they attend all interdisciplinary meetings for the course of a term to witness and document interdisciplinary collaboration. This presentation highlights the lessons learned from these pilot seminars, including what types of research projects have been most fruitful for the students and practitioners, and how these courses could be a model for building science education elsewhere.