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Vital Signs 1998 Student Case Study Competition

"What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"

Henry David Thoreau

The goal of the Vital Signs Project is to encourage the next generation of architects to build environmentally responsible and energy efficient buildings. The project promotes a pedagogic approach incorporating experiential learning. Students are challenged to take a detective's eye to the built environment, and study the physical performance of existing buildings in terms of energy use, occupant comfort and well-being, architectural space-making and environmental impact. The Vital Signs curriculum materials provide background information and field evaluation protocols to help students learn through observation, survey, interviews, and direct physical measurements.

This competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students in ACSA member schools of architecture and ABET member schools of architectural engineering in the United States and Canada. Entries will be accepted for individual as well as team efforts. All work must be done under the direction of a faculty advisor as part of a studio, lecture, seminar, or independent study course. All team members must have been enrolled during either the Fall 1997 or Spring 1998 term.

Just because a building is green, doesn't make it a "green building". Physical performance is a paramount indicator of a building's environmental impact.

This competition seeks well crafted case studies that reveal intriguing stories about the physical performance of existing buildings. Surprisingly little information is available to students and professionals about what happens once a building is occupied. Case studies can offer information about the success or failure of given design strategies in terms of energy performance, actual versus anticipated patterns of use, and the variety of ways occupants experience a building. One goal of this competition is to share the findings of case study investigators with other students, as well as design professionals, to provide the basis for more fully informed design decision making.

The Vital Signs 1998 Student Case Study Competition is made possible by a grant from The Educational Foundation of America.

To get a copy of the competition program, we suggest you download it as a PDF file. PDF files can be read and printed with Adobe Acrobat Reader software. If you don't already have this software, you can download Acrobat free of charge from Adobe. If you don't want to download the PDF file, the succeeding sections present the information contained in the competition program

General Competition Information

- Eligibility
- Schedule
- Faculty Responsibility
- Awards
- Question and Answer Procedures
Developing A Case Study
Case Study Submission Requirements
Case Study Reports and Dossiers
Entry Form

Questions about the competition should be addressed to the Competition Advisor:

Gail Brager
The Vital Signs Case Study Competition
University of California, Berkeley
390 Wurster Hall, #1839
Berkeley, CA 94720-1839
Telephone: 510-642-1696
Fax: 510-643-5571

Comments to:

All contents copyright (C) 1998. Vital Signs Project. All rights reserved.

Created: 10/08/97