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The Carbon Neutral Design Project:
Carbon Neutral Teaching: Curriculum Materials Development
Bruce Haglund
School of Architecture, University of Idaho

Comprehensive Architectural Design Studio
Senior Studio

Passive Design

Passive Design Integration Study

Design Performance Objective

Building Systems Integration
This cross-section demonstrates several interdependent passive and active systems—well-insulated straw bale walls and SIP roofs; clerestory windows for stack and cross-ventilation as well as daylighting; lower windows for cross-ventilation, daylighting, and views; metal cool roofs for summer comfort, prevention of icicles, rainwater collection, and fire resistance; passive systems for selecting, filtering, and drawing cistern water; and a hydronic radiant floor for heating.

Student: Paul Marx

Fall 2006 McCall Field Campus Studio

Program Statement
Design for integration of systems, opting for passive systems first with active/mechanical systems as well-integrated back-ups.

This project responds to NAAB Student Performance Criteria

#19: Environmental Systems
Understanding of the basic principles and appropriate application and performance of environmental systems, including acoustical, lighting, and climate modification systems, and energy use, integrated with the building envelope

#21: Building Envelope Systems
Understanding of the basic principles and appropriate application and performance of building envelope materials and assemblies

#28: Comprehensive Design
Ability to produce a comprehensive architectural project based on a building program and site that includes development of programmed spaces demonstrating an understanding of structural and environmental systems, building envelope systems, life-safety provisions, wall sections and building assemblies and the principles of sustainability

Investigative Strategy

Use sectional drawings to demonstrate strategies. Paul Marx’s cabin demonstrates a reliance on passive systems for controlling heat flow (super insulation), ventilation (operable windows), lighting (adequate fenestration), and water catchment (for drinking and fire safety). Mechanical hydronic radiant floor heating (with a bio-fuel central power and heat plant) is used to augment modest solar gains. No mechanical cooling is specified. Ecotect was used to model thermal and lighting systems and procedures from The Green Studio Handbook were used to size the cistern.

Evaluation Process
This cross-section was presented at the final studio critique. The Ecotect model was built and used during design development.
Evaluative Criteria
Check for the primancy of passive systems, their integration, and use of complementary mechanical systems.
Information about the Project and Studio

• course outline

• project outline

Cautions - Possible Confusions
Ecotect models are most useful when made early in the design process so that they can be used to test design options. Outputs are graphic and clearly show the relationship between performance and space.
Range of Applicability in terms of CLIMATE
Range of Applicability in terms of TYPE
Reference Material
Ecotect -
Ecotect discussion forums -
The Green Studio Handbook, Kwok & Grondzik
Duration of Exercise
This work was presented at the end of an eight-week comprehensive design phase.
Degree of Difficulty / Previous Knowledge Required
This is work assigned to a graduate student in his penultimate studio taken after all of the basic technical courses on structures and environmental systems.





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