Four applied-research projects have been awarded a grant by the AIA Upjohn Research Initiative, which provides base funds over the course of 18 months for research that advances professional architectural knowledge and practice. A jury of representatives from the AIA's College of Fellows and Board Knowledge Committee selected the four projects, which will split a pool of $90,000, from a field of 30 applicants. Created in 2006 and first awarded in 2007, the yearly grant is named in honor of Richard Upjohn, a co-founder of the AIA and its first president.


Project: Cradle to Grave: Case Studies of Buildings' Environmental Footprint
Principal Investigators: Dan Jacobs, A3C; Ash Ragheb, Center for Sustainability, Lawrence Technological University
Objective: Evaluating the local and global environmental effects of multiple case-study buildings throughout their life spans, thereby showing how lifecycle analysis can be applied to complex systems such as buildings.

Project: EcoCeramic Phase II: High-Performance Masonry Enclosure
Principal Investigators: Jason Oliver Vollen, Binary Design and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Kelly Winn, Rensselaer doctoral student; Jed Laver, University of Arizona
Objective: Developing the EcoCeramic masonry unit-a sustainable material composed of clay and glass fibers-into a weatherproof, self-supporting enclosure system.

Project: Guidelines for the Design of Sustainable Learning Laboratories That Teach Through Architecture
Principal Investigator: Jim Jones, Center for High Performance Learning Environments, Virginia Tech College of Architecture and Urban Studies
Objective: Promoting "buildings that teach" and environmental stewardship by developing an AIA learning module that demonstrates the connection between critical thinking and architecture.

Project: Thermally Active Surfaces in Architecture
Principal Investigator: Kiel Moe, Northeastern University School of Architecture
Objective: Understanding the scientific basis of thermally active surfaces; demonstrating how the use of such surfaces for the thermal conditioning of buildings could change professional practice; and documenting the systems, performance, and constructability of 10 case-study projects.