Undergraduate Education Program

Portland State University

Corey Griffin
Portland, OR
December 2014

The Research-based Design Teaching Laboratory (RDTL) at Portland State University will provide undergraduate students in architecture and engineering courses the tools to study and advance building science through hands-on research.  The overall goal of the RDTL is to achieve a more rapid integration of green building strategies, materials and systems by conducting student-led simulations or post-occupancy analysis of existing buildings and applying this research to projects currently under design through collaboration with professional practitioners.  Over three and a half years, at least nine faculty members will be trained as “RDTL Fellows” to use the equipment and will be provided support to develop research-based design teaching modules.  The principal investigator will also launch two new, interdisciplinary courses making extensive use of the RDTL.  This project will reach an average of 200 students annually and generate critical building science research for professional practice.  This project is significant as buildings are the single largest contributor of CO2 emissions and use more primary energy than any other sector in the United States.  Arguably, nothing is more important for addressing climate change than having universities accelerate their teaching of these principles and practices. The RDTL aspires to be a national beacon for what this acceleration could look like.

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