Urban Energy Systems

The intent of this year-long research and innovation studio is to interrogate the important contexts and systemic operating logics of the production, manufacturing, infrastructure, and performance of architecture as the source for innovation that condition contemporary built environments.

Prefab City

There is a disproportionally high number of prefab buildings (especially residential homes) in rural settings. Our research, therefore, has purposefully limited looking into this well-documented area of prefab in order to explore and eventually identify the challenges that are unique to urban environments.


Live/Work spaces are appearing at an alarming rate throughout the country. While many live/work projects have appeared throughout history, what defines these spaces as live/work today? Our study is divided into three basic parts: definitions, an analysis of the sub-types, and the future of live/work.

Self Storage

The erecting of self-storage facilities, and the evolution of the self storage as a building typology, is one specific to the last century. The initiation of the movement was based on a human need. As the need for storage evolved real-estate developers realized that economic profits available in the industry of storage. Therefore most economic efficient means were utilized in the formation of facilities to cut upfront costs and increase profitability. It if the economics that shape the form of this typology.

Subsurface Urbanism

As a city responds to its environment, it grows either outward, upward or both. This book focuses on underground construction as a response to urban development.

Precast Concrete

This book looks at the structural system of precast concrete through a discerning lens. The authors have decided to examine the process inherent to this building material instead of creating a survey of precast concrete use.


This book is divided into three main sections: guest, services, and design, each of which has subcategories. These include Amenities, Guest Sequence, Back of House, Service Sequence, Configuration, and Rooms and Style. Each of these subcategories has been thoroughly researched and a series of “packages” or collections of commonly paired hotel options are defined in each chapter.

Urban Retail

In the not so distant past, the rise of the shopping mall captured retail and pulled it into the suburbs where rent was lower and automobiles were prevalent. This make the shopping mall the de facto standard for retail. In more recent years, retail has returned to the city center making the urban experience dependent on the retail experience. The city provides the individual store more opportunities to make a sale; there is more money per square foot due to the density and also more pedestrian traffic, aka window shopping.