Apply for the AIAS/AIA COTE 2009 Research Scholarship

The Problem
The most persuasive tool for reaching carbon neutral buildings by 2030 is codifying the building performance necessary for reaching that goal. While various guidelines and certification systems are used across the country to create incentives and recognition for designing greener buildings, there is a relative lack of standardized information about how buildings are actually performing, relative to their design and relative to universal "green" goals.

A study into actual building performance may illuminate approaches, systems and factors that prove successful at achieving performance goals. It may also point out specific areas for codes, regulations and incentive structures in order to achieve desired green building performance. Tracking project delivery models of high performing projects in the study may show a direct link between integrated project delivery, building performance and other sustainable design goals, further helping to define building performance methodologies.

The Objectives
The researcher will analyze the "COTE Top 10" projects in order to:

1. Establish common metrics for comparing energy use, emissions, waste generation, water use, embodied energy of materials, etc. These metrics should account for local conditions (e.g., water availability). An example of common metrics might be annual CO2-equivalent emissions from the building, CO2 emissions associated with travel to the building, etc.

2. Create a database that compares projects according to these metrics; determine the performance "spread" between buildings (this "common-metric performance" could also be compared to other common metrics, such as LEED rating achieved, project cost, etc.).

3. Determine how projects are actually performing compared to the projected performance associated with their design.

4. Track project delivery models of each project analyzed.

5. Describe common factors/systems/approaches (if trends can be found) of buildings with:

a. Highest actual performance according to the common metrics;
b. Performance that most closely matches or exceeds projected performance; and
c. Performance that falls significantly short of projected performance.

An educational scholarship of $9,750 will be provided for the three-month research project. All research shall take place starting June 1, 2009 and should be completed by August 31, 2009.

The Work Plan
The three-month project will include collecting information on all metrics and analyzing two metrics in detail. Tasks include:

1. Determining metrics to be used

2. Collecting data from all projects regarding actual building performance (water, waste, energy, systems embodied energy, emissions, etc.) vs. projected performance

3. Analyzing energy and emissions in detail, according to the objectives listed above.

* All aspects are subject to change.

The Timeline
The application submissions must be uploaded to the scholarship Web site no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on May 8, 2009. The recipient will be announced on both the AIAS and AIA Web sites the week of May 18, 2009. Following the selection process the scholar will be put in touch with an advisor to develop a proposed work schedule to start June 1, 2009 and conclude by August 31, 2009.

The Application
Eligibility: Program is open to students studying at U.S.-based institutions and having completed their third year on or before June 1, 2009.

Applicants are asked to submit a resume, a short proposal of their research plan not exceeding 1000 words, no more than two letters of recommendation, a list of courses taken that are relevant to the research and a small sample of design work not exceeding five 8.5" x 11" pages.

Submissions must be saved as a single portable document format (PDF) file. The file should be titled with the applicant's first initial and last name (e.g., j_doe). The entire application file should not exceed 20MB in size. Failure to follow these standards may result in disqualification of the application.

Find the Research Scholarship Flier *here*.