May 20, 2019

Life Building Exchange awarded the Environmental Design Research Association Certificate of Research Excellence

The Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) has announced its 2019 Certificate of Research Excellence (CORE) recipients and UW alumni Dr. Julie Kriegh, AIA, was recognized for her submission focusing on factors in addressing climate change. Her research, entitled Life Building Exchange: Investigating the Intersection of Pro-Environmental Behavior, Place Meaning, and High-Performance Design, begins with the idea that future progress in energy conservation must center not only on the design of energy efficient buildings, but also on user behavior. She and her team of advisors, including environmental psychologist, Dr. Lynne Manzo, multivariate statistics professor, Dr. Elizabeth Sanders, and architecture professor emeritus, Joel Loveland, looked to incorporate both building science and user behavior in thinking about how progress is to be made toward the climate change goals put forward in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

A Northwest Net-zero Energy Community. (Source: Retrieved (9.2.18) from Google Images

A Northwest Net-zero Energy Community. (Source: Google Images)

Kriegh’s research found that over time people will engage in their environment in a way that is likely to be energy conserving when such behavior is supported by the places where they live, when they personally commit to pro-environmental values, and when they feel a connection to their homes and communities. These factors can have a greater impact on overall energy reduction than architectural design decisions alone. Importantly, when individuals act with reciprocity, perceiving mutual benefit among themselves and the environment, their actions are more likely to endure with respect to pro-environmental behaviors in general and residential energy use in specific.

EDRA CORE was developed to highlight research being performed in the design community.  This research is often performed outside of the peer-review processes generally associated with the publication of scholarly articles describing the research and is often overlooked by other awards and recognition. Because research by design professionals tends to focus on project delivery and business, rarely are they also able to prioritize the scientific reports needed to gain formal recognition. Though, EDRA looked to change this with a structured peer review focusing on the rigor and value of the of practice-based design research, much of the research work that CORE recognizes is a collaboration between academic universities, industry partners and/or professional practice firms. This was the case with Dr. Kriegh’s research.


Juile Kriegh is the founder and principal architect of Kriegh Architecture Studios  | Research + Design located in the Bullitt Center in Seattle, WA. She has won numerous awards including the Livable Communities Design Award which inspired her to become a Passive House consultant and begin her doctoral research in high-performance buildings and pro-environmental behavior. She is an affiliate instructor at the UW’s College of Built Environments, where she earned both her Ph.D. and Master of Architecture. Her undergraduate education was at Duke University where she studied marine ecosystems, a pursuit which has continued to inform her research throughout her career.