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Institute for Smart Structures

Research Interests

Building Performance is an emerging approach in architecture and building science. This knowledge domain investigates questions of performance in the design and construction of buildings across a range of issues, including physical, material, geometric and ‘soft’ performance issues, such as user comfort. Buildings and their sites have profound impacts on both the social and natural environment. High performance building offers ways to positively impact these systems. New methods of architectural design, engineering, and research, such as environmentally sustainable methods and digital technologies for quantitative and qualitative simulations. These, coupled with advanced materials with new properties offer an opportunity for dramatic improvements in building performance related to materials and energy use, ecological impact, life-cycle costs, and occupant quality of life. In this context, performance-based design can be approached very broadly, spanning multiple realms – from architecture, to engineering and building science to material science.

Research Interest Groups

Digital Architecture (Architecture & Design)

  • Performance Based / Sustainable Design
  • Evolutionary optimization
  • Digital Architecture and Environmental Studies

Building Materials (Materials Science and Engineering / ORNL)

  • New Building Materials and New Technology of Construction
  • Phase Change Materials (PCM)
  • Coatings & Colorants, Aerogel/Vacuum Insulation, etc.

Performance Environment (MAB Engineering)

  • Alternative Heating and Cooling Strategies
  • Energy recovery
  • Energy management

Building Control and Diagnostics (Electrical Engineering & Computer Science)

  • Digital Simulation and Data Processing (UT Supercomputer)
  • Performance Analyses
  • Sensors, computing, information processing


  • Structural analysis and optimization
  • Intelligent / responsive Structures
  • Non-Standard Structural Design

Sustainable Building Design: (ISSE with CASNR / Landscape Program)

  • Green Power applications: Hydrogen Fuel, Photovoltaics
  • Biotechniques / Bioengineering
  • Sustainable Products


James Rose
College of Architecture & Design
The University of Tennessee
Phone: (865) 974-3290


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