Salovich Zero+ Campus Design Project
Salovich Zero Plus Campus Design Project


Thermal and Luminous Design


Instructors: Mary Guzowski, Professor, Loren Abraham, Research Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor, and Ian McLellan, Adjunct Instructor, School of Architecture

Critics:  Varies by semester; Spring 2011: Renee Cheng, Professor and Head; Bob Ganser, Adjunct Instructor; Nat Madson, Adjunct Instructor, AND Jeff Mandyck, Adjunct Instructor


Course Format:  7-week studio/lecture hybrid, 6 credits

Course Description

Students are asked to consider how architectural design can respond to the growing ecological challenges of global warming and climate change.  While there are many issues related to carbon neutral and zero energy design, this course investigation focuses on the roles of daylighting, thermal, and bioclimatic considerations to meaningfully inform architectural design while also reducing fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions.  The challenge to students is to explore related issues through the development of a design proposal for a zero-energy addition to “old Rapson Hall” for a new “Minnesota Zero-Energy Design Lab” (mnZED Lab) for the College of Design.  The design project enables students to gain firsthand experience of the phenomena of thermal and luminous designs and their ecological design opportunities.  Direct application of concepts, strategies, and principles as well as qualitative and quantitative assessment, and testing are considered



Course Objectives

An integrated approach to the course topics are explored from a variety of perspectives to address the following course objectives: 

  • Promoting Ecological and Holistic Systems Thinking: To provide students with daylighting and thermal design processes and integrated tools that enable them to evaluate, assess, and apply a holistic approach to zero-energy carbon-neutral design.
  • Exploring Formal, Aesthetic and Experiential Design Opportunities: To introduce students to the formal, aesthetic, and experiential opportunities of an ecological approach to daylighting, thermal, and systems integration in design.
  • Integrating Appropriate Design and Technology Applications: To learn to employ design and technology appropriately to achieve optimal ecological effectiveness. 
  • Developing Methods of Design and Performance Assessment and Testing:  To introduce and apply qualitative and quantitative methods and design tools for ecological assessment and performance analysis.


Course Work

This course introduces the ecological design concepts and principles of daylighting, thermal, energy, and systems integration.  It provides students with an understanding of the primary architectural and technological implications of lighting and thermal to inform design and ecological thinking and to support sustainable design decision-making. 

Project Overview                                                                                              

The course includes three design projects, which enable students to assess and apply concepts, strategies, and assessment methods through direct application to design.  Students work in a team; however, there are both individual and team responsibilities and grades. Topics for the three projects include the following:


  • Project One: Daylighting Design
    • Phase 1: Site and Bioclimatic Design
    • Phase 2: Daylighting Program and Quantitative Assessment
  • Project Two: Thermal Design
    • Phase 1: Baseline Analysis and Passive Studies
    • Phase 2: Envelope Optimization and Thermal Analysis
  • Project Three: Integrated Design
    • Phase 1: Room & Envelope
    • Phase 2: Systems Integration



Thermal and Luminous Design Syllabus

Thermal and Luminous Design Program Brief


Project Statements

Proj 1.1: Bioclimate Design

Proj 1.2: Daylighting Design

Proj 2.1: Thermal 1.0

Proj 2.2: Thermal 2.0

Proj 3.1: Room & Envelope Design

Proj 3.2: Integrated Design



AIA Course Profile  (Carbon Neutral Design Project Publication)

PLEA Paper (Passive Low Energy Architecture Conference Publication)


Student Projects

1. ReglaBreton, Berger, Gulinskay, and Hulmer

2. Jacobs, McDermid, Stephens, and Villamil

3. Bell, Fleischaker, Kang, and Wingate

4. Frandrup, Roys, Schmitz, and McCormick

5. Sands, Diamond, Lindner, and Jameson

6. Andrejasich, Bateson, Elenkiwich, and Meyer

7. Mosites, Pittman, Stauduhar, and Tornow

8. Holley, Larsen, Larson, and Newby

9. Kane, Lemon, Umenthum, and Vahaji

10. Butitta, Gardner, Merlis, and Treml

11. Mata, Kellogg, Hansen, and Mckay

12. Himes, Brenny, Johansson, Kubota, and Salmela