ARCC | KING Student Medal Program 2012-2013

The Architectural Research Centers Consortium is pleased to announce the fourteenth annual:

ARCC | King Student Medal for Excellence in Architectural + Environmental Design Research

Named in honor of the late Jonathan King, co-founder and first president of the architectural Research Centers Consortium  (ARCC), this award will be given to one student per ARCC member school. Selection of school recipients is at the discretion of the individual institutions, but will be based upon criteria that acknowledge innovation, integrity, and scholarship in architectural and/or environmental design research.  The award may be made at either the graduate or the undergraduate level.

For more information on the ARCC | King Medal please contact Dr. Brian R. Sinclair FRAIC, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4 email:

Deadline for submissions is Monday 8th April 2013. You must hold an active membership in the ARCC to submit an King Medal request.

Details on the Web:

King Medal 2011-12 Recipients

ARCC Member Institution Student Name: Project Title:
American University of Sharjah CHAM K. ENBASHI Re.Form.atting the Hinterland: Time Machine Prison
Arizona State University* KURTIS J. D’ANGELO Ground Modification Techniques to Improve Thermal Performance of Buried Ground Heat Exchangers in Ground Coupled Heat Pump Systems
Auburn University QIAN DENG Open Systems Design in Landscape Architecture
Ball State University* MICHELA CUPELLO Healthcare Facility Design for Flexibility
Catholic University of America MATTHEW THOMAS VARGAS Retrofitting Landscape
CERES-Ball State University WES STABS EP|3C Design Process: Optimizing Energy Performance with Climate, Context and Client
Curtin University KIM VALAS Capturing the Ephemeral in Passage: A Cinematic Means of Understanding Place
Florida A&M TROY WILLIAMS Reinforcing Social Interaction: A Mixed Use Development in Tallahassee Florida
Foundacion de Diego Sagreda FRANCISCO JAVIER CARABANO RODRIGUEZ Arquitectura Popular y de la Arquitectura Vernacula
Drexel University JOSHUA T. LESSARD Transient Typologies
Georgia Institute of Technology YEONSOOK HEO Bayesian Calibration of Building Energy Models for Retrofit Decision Making Under Uncertainty
Howard University* JAMEL WILLIAMS Orthos
Illinois Institute of Technology MAHSA NICKNAM Performance Based Generative Design Approach for Long Span Roof Structures: Multi-Objective Optimization, Toward the Integration of Energy and Structure
Judson University JASON CHERRY Monitoring of the Harm A Weber Academic Center
Kansas State University LYNDSEE JOHNSON Pediatric Palliative Care House
Kent State University PRIYANKA RATHI Optimization of Energy Efficient Windows in Office Buildings for Different Climate Zones of the United States
Lawrence Tech. University* OZLEM DEMIR Sustainable Urbanism Methodology for Postindustrial Districts in North American Cities
Louisiana State University MICHAEL JOHNSON Architectural Boundaries Informed by Environmental Models
McGill University LEILA MARIE FARAH Food Paths, Architecture and Urban Form: A Case Study
Mississippi State University SCOTT PENMAN Rural Sustainability
Montana State University ERIN CHAMBERLIN Freedom Housing: Design Thinking for Nairobi Kenya
North Carolina State University JAMES G. GRADY A Simulation Tool Utilizing Parametric Primitives for Climate Based Dynamic Daylighting and Energy Analysis
Norwich University* MELISSA JENSEN Sustainability and World Expositions after World War II
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute BESS KRIETEMEYER Dynamic Design Framework for Mediated Bioresponsive Building Envelopes
Ryerson University MICHAEL LANCTOT Indices of Force
Temple University* BRENDA MARGOLIS Dynamic Dwelling: The Active Potential of Flexible Housing in an Evolving Urban Condition
Texas A&M* PASQUALE DE PAOLO A Question of Method: Architecttura Razionale and the XV Milan Triennale of 1973
The Pennsylvania State University MOONDEEP PRADHANANGA Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster + Case of Hamer Center for Community Design
Virginia Polytechic University KONGKUN CHAROENVISAL A Prototype BIM Integrated Decision Support Structure for Green Roof Selection and Design
University at Buffalo ROBERT B. GARLOW Thermal Interrelation: Investigations into Bi-Material Lamination
University of Calgary* RICHARD COTTER Liminal Landscapes
University of Hawaii at Manoa DAVID YEN Japanese Timber Frame Methodology Alternative Solutions to Hawaii’s Built Environment
University of Idaho RONALD C. POLINTAN MI: Modular Intelligence
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champ. ALBERT OCHSNER Air-Frame and Power Plant Instructional Facility: Parkland Community College
University of Kansas* JULIE WILLIAMS LAWLESS Social, Psychological and Physical Structures of a Temporary Living Environment: Creating Sense of Home
University of Manitoba YOSHIHIRO YABE Urban Fragmentation in Winnipeg
University of Maryland LOUISE PARLIN MEYER The Promise of Small Cities: Connecting Urban Residents with the Environment and Their Community in Portland, Maine
University of Memphis MARIO WALKER Memphis Art Park Project | Design-Build Sharecropper House | Playable 10 Art Design Competition
University of Minnesota* MOLLY EAGEN 100 Days Without Oil: A Story of the Lessons Learned From Attempting to Live in a Resource Balance
University of Missouri TILANKA CHANDRASEKERA Digital Orthographic Projections in Architectural Representation: Augmented Reality Based Learning
University of Nebraska LINCOLN MICHAEL HARPSTER The Ontological Performance of Sustainable Design
Universtiy of Nevada-Las Vegas FLORIN IULIAN COSTACHE Cooling Performance of a Wet Roofpond System in Las Vegas Nevada
University of New Mexico KIHEI MAYER Town and Site Analysis of Crownpoint
University of North Carolina-Charlotte WYNN BUZZELL The Pervasive Pattern: A Biomimetic Design Method
University of Oklahoma ANNA B. PRICE The Effects of Tom Pendergast’s Political Machine on Kansas City
University of Oregon EMILY MCGLOHN A Comparative Study of Climate Based Design of Building Enclosure
University of South Florida BRIAN WEST Finessing the Fire
University of Southern California SHIH-HSIN EVE LIN Building Information Modeling
Uinivesity of Tennessee VALERIE FRIEDMANN Ecorevelatory Landscape: Phenomenological Design of Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge
University of Toronto MATTHEW SPREMULLI Land Management Tribes: New Species of Symbiotic Architectures for the Great Plains
University of Utah RYAN BUNDY Research into Laminated Timber - Integrated Technology and Architecture Center
University of Waterloo MARIANNA DE COLA 80 Fathoms Deep
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee SAHAR SADAT HOSSEINI BALAJADEH Re-Imagining the Past: Staging Authentic memory in Tehran’s Ferdowsi Square

2011 Incentive Fund Award - Major Award

Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design was awarded the major Incentive Fund Award of $2400 to support dissemination and dialogue of a research project focusing on school mechanical system types in context of student achievement. Associate professor Michael Ermann and PhD Candidate Ana Jaramillo will publish the results in several journals but, more critically, present the findings directly to school boards in order to have the most impact.

Study summary
Researchers and practitioners have found, to no oneʼs surprise, that the type of mechanical system utilized to thermally condition a space impacts the noise level for occupants. Indeed, in schools, air conditioning systems are by far the largest contributors to room noise. Pumps, remote to a conditioned classroom, create little mechanical system noise, so hydronic systems (without radiator fans) are generally the quietist. Air systems with centralized air handling units and remote chillers/boilers are louder as fan noise radiates inside ductwork from mechanical rooms to classrooms. Fan coil units feature fans exposed to the classroom itself, and are therefore louder still. Finally, unitary or “DX” through-the-wall systems see both fans and air conditioning compressors exposed to the students, and are generally loudest.

At least 10 studies demonstrate the impact of noise on youthʼs cognitive performance. Of course noise impairs adults also, but childrenʼs brains are not fully able to effectively separate acoustic signal from noise until they are about 15 years old, making it more difficult to cull the teacherʼs speech from the drone of the air-conditioning system.

No studies yet have bridged those two widely-supported findings: if the type of mechanical system impacts (and often dictates) the noise level in the room, and if the noise level in the room impacts the performance of the student, might there be a correlation between mechanical system type and student achievement?

We are currently asking that question, correlating student achievement scores with school mechanical system types. Our pilot study, which examined the mechanical systems and test scores of all 10 elementary schools in a local school district, found very high confidence levels in a correlation.

With help from the HVAC technical supervisor, we are expanding the study to the Los Angeles Unified School District. There are several advantages to looking at the LA schools: first, the “value-added” method has been used to measure the varying impacts different district schools have in raising or lowering individual student scores from one year to the next. Nowhere in the U.S. is there more analysis of recent school performance in studentsʼ standardized tests. Second, as it is the second largest school district in the U.S., the study, which was commissioned by the Los Angeles Times, examined a large sample—more statistically significant than our small local district. The dataset includes more than 800,000 student/year records examined over a period of seven school years at 473 schools. Third, about half the school district pupils have difficulty with the English language. The impact of noise on cognition is acute in non-native speakers, so if there is a correlation between noise and performance, we might expect to find it in Los Angeles. Finally, the Southern California climate necessitates air conditioning almost year-round, so data isnʼt clouded by variations in heating and cooling systems.

2011 Incentive Fund Award - Minor Award

Lawrence Tech’s makeLab was awarded the $1200 minor Incentive Fund award to disseminate the knowledge of digital fabrication processes to the architecture community. The focus of this push to transfer knowledge closes a critical gap between theoretical aspects of digital fabrications and vocational techniques.


The collegiate level suffers from the absence of how-to publications. If the typical architecture student wants to profile cut or slip cast for a project, there is no definitive source for how to start such an endeavor. They have to conduct their own research along with trial and error methods to become acquainted with the digital fabrication equipment and processes. In order to make material digital fabrication processes more readily available to not only students but the entire architecture community, makeLab proposed the expansion of the lab’s blog to include “how-to” sections processes. These sections will focus on easily replicable digital fabrication processes for reference material. The information included will be a balance between design theory and vocational information presented at the collegiate level.


  • Disseminate knowledge of digital fabrication processes to those who are not fulltime architectural researchers
  • Free online transfer of knowledge to others in the architecture community
  • The makeLab blog has hundreds of followers of architecture from around the world and frequented by the fabrication community to disseminate knowledge. Therefore, the ARCC’s involvement with the makeLab blog will give the ARCC an expanded platform.
  • ARCC will be given credit in the makeLab blog for its funding
  • Facilitator will work with the ARCC board to link the existing ARCC site directly to makeLab’s blog

2011 Haecker Award Winner

Lisa Heschong is a Managing Principal of the Heschong Mahone Group, Inc. and an internationally recognized expert on daylighting, lighting energy use, and human factors in building design. As a researcher, Ms. Heschong led the groundbreaking research that found a correlation between the presence of daylight in classrooms and improved student performance, and completed three additional studies for the California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program looking at how daylight and window characteristics influence human performance in offices, schools and retail buildings. As an author, Lisa wrote the classic Thermal Delight in Architecture (MIT Press), which continues to have a profound influence within architectural education to this day. Additionally, she worked with Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories to synthesize their research into Residential Windows: A Guide to New Technologies and Energy Performance (WW Norton) and co-authored Advanced Lighting Guidelines, the CHPS Best Practices Manual, and the Skylighting Guidelines, three web-based publications. This award represents two major advances for the Haecker Award and ARCC. First, Ms. Heschong is the first woman to win this distinction and additionally, this is the first award recognizing the outstanding research work being conducted in practice. ARCC is delighted to have Lisa Heschong as our 2011 James Haecker Awardee for Distinguished Leadership in Architectural Research.


2011 New Researcher Award Winners

The work of Dr. Rima Al Ajlouni, Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University, is exemplary in linking historical research to parametric design. Dr. Al Ajlouni is a leader in the study of quasi-crystalline formations which possess unique visual and structural properties. This work has led to the development of the first structural equation which has potential translational application to parametric design. Her expertise in architectural history was recognized through her selection by the US Department of State to direct the $13 million Historic Preservation Program in Iraq. She has extensively disseminated this groundbreaking work in 9 articles and 15 presentations.


Dr. Zhongjie Lin, Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte, is recognized for his research in the area of urban development in contemporary Asia. Dr. Lin is the author or co-author of two books, Urban Design in the Global Perspective (Beijing: China Architecture and Building Press, 2006) and Kenzo Tange and the Metabolist Movement: Urban Utopias of Modern Japan (London and New York: Routledge, 2010). His forthcoming book, Constructing Utopias: China’s Emerging New Town Movement, is likely to be seminal for those interested in this profoundly evolving landscape. This exemplary work has received financial support from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies of Fine Arts, the Japan Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences, and the Asian Cultural Council.

Posted in 36-2 Fall 2012, Awards | Tagged 2011, awards, New Researcher, Rima Al Ajlouni, Texas Tech, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Zhongjie Lin

2011 Best Paper Award

The best paper for the 2011 ARCC Architectural Research Conference was awarded to Michael D. Gibson of Kansas State University for his paper “Integrating geometry and light: daylight solutions through performance-based algorithms“. The full paper is available here.

ABSTRACT: Designing spaces for daylight is a complex problem for architects, balancing geometry with the location of daylight sources. Conventional design practice approaches this balance one-dimensionally: common procedures, rules of thumb, and building codes lead designers to default to regularity when designing windows and skylights.

The problem of daylight can be restated, starting first from the basic performance goal of distributed, uniform light. In traditional vernacular architecture, it is common to observe intentional coincidences among windows and interior surfaces, illustrating that openings and interior geometry can be integrated to distribute light in a way that is also experientially dynamic: integration also understood by great architects of the past and present.

Parametric design – a method of working where pieces of a simulated model can be manipulated ad infinitum – provides a new way of studying the relationship between light and geometry in the producing desirable, uniform, lighting conditions. Taking parametric design a step further, it is possible to tie together parametric models and computer-based simulations to produce an algorithm that “finds‟ optimal configurations between openings and interior geometry. Such an algorithm reveals two possibilities. The first is that designers can systematically determine the best relationship among openings and interior
space. Secondly, the success of these algorithms offers objective proof that, in comparison to the default of regularized patterns of openings, a more organic (i.e. less artificially ordered) relationship between openings and interior indeed is better for producing uniform daylight.

Two parametric algorithms will be discussed in the paper: an optimization algorithm, leading to a given problem to a single solution, and an evolutionary algorithm, using the random generation of individual solutions to reach better fitting results. The workings of the algorithms as well as the interpretation of the results in the context of design for daylight are discussed.