Academic Overview

Program Overview:

"The Master of Science in Sustainable Design program is a post-professional degree intended for recent graduates and practicing professionals who seek to gain expertise in sustainable design methodologies and return to professional work in a short time. This intensive 12-month curriculum stresses the importance and value of total-building performance, human-centered design and the integration of Design, Technology and Construction knowledge and experience. Classes provide both depth and breadth, while the culminating Synthesis Project allows each individual student the opportunity to narrow his or her research focus to a topic of personal interest." School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University

Notable Projects:

  • Master Synthesis: Design Guidelines For Hot & Humid Climates
  • Biologic Responsive Building Technology: Helionastic Facade

Design Guidelines For Hot & Humid Climates

Project Overview:

This study aims to combine passive design approach and energy conservation into a hybrid set of strategies for designing low energy climate responsive urban in-fill homes in three major Vietnamese cities: Ha Noi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City. As part of the study, a series of literature reviews on both previous research and construction projects done in similar climates as those of Vietnam are conducted. They serve as the basis for the establishment of this illustrated set of design strategies. One potential strategy, selected by the author, is modeled to simulate its overall energy effectiveness. The result of this simulation not only and to reaffirm the validity of the entire solution set but also indicate the applicability and the effectiveness of certain strategies in achieving thermal comfort, and energy efficiency in tropical climates such as Vietnam. This study stresses the importance of integrating design concepts with climate analysis early in the design process.  The outcome of this study is an illustrated guideline of high-density residential buildings for Vietnam that can also be applicable to other similar urban settings.


For full report, please go here

Synthesis 05.jpg

Biologic Responsive Building Technology

Project Overview:

The Mimosa Pudica, of the Fabaccae family is nicknamed the sensitive plant or “touch-me-not” for its response to external stimulus by drooping down and shutting its leaves. This attribute inspires a thought process that aims at applying this movement to an architectural application. The project undertaken outlines an idea that could be used in real time. Our research aims to emulate this phenomenon, to recreate it in a way that it can be incorporated as a functional element in the building, interweaving the principles of energy efficiency and aesthetics with the existing design scope. The design of a moving petal system inspired by the nastic movements of the mimosa pudica is created with shading and solar energy harvesting as its major functions. The mechanism of the device functions on the principles of contraction of Nitinol which is triggered as a function of light intensity, with more light causing the wings to unfold. This phenomenon is used to shade the surface above which the device is fixed. By generating arrays of the same prototype, we hypothesize that it shall be possible to harness the incident solar energy by mounting solar panels on the wing surface and generate interesting shading patterns.


To read the full report, please go here

Helionastic Movement Sketch Diagram

Turgor Pressure Sketch Diagram

Mimosa Pudica Sketch Diagram