All Teaching Resources

Understanding Climate for Design - A Game

This is a demonstration of a game I play with my students in my introduction to Environmental Systems class.
Students break into teams and are given charts, including solar sunpath diagrams and graphs from the tool Climate Consultant, representing one of three cities. They are taught how to read the graphs and charts, as well as solar geometry basics. Each team is tasked with describing their climate, and guessing their actual city.

Understanding Climate Game
This is a demonstration of a game I play with my students in my introduction to Environmental Systems class.

Energy Simulation Game

This is a game to allow students to experiment with energy saving design strategies in buildings. Faced with a $ spending limit, students make choices to upgrade a building and compete to achieve the lowest EUI. This version uses DesignBuilder, and it helps if you have students or Teaching Assistants who can run the software.

This is a game to allow students to experiment with energy saving design strategies in buildings.  The included game files can be run in DesignBuilder/EnergyPlus.  Also included are a Game Brief (rules for participants), Order Form, and Instructions for Modelers.  If the participants know DesignBuilder they can run the simulations themselves.  If not, they can turn in Order Forms to a small group of teaching assistants who can run the simulations for them.

Thermal Performance

Lecture content for an introduction to the thermal performance of building enclosures

This lecture provides an introduction to thermal performance of building enclosures. It starts with repeating the principles of thermal heat transfer through the example of a fin tube radiator, which perfectly blends all these principles together. We then look at the different units for measuring heat and energy before moving to how we can characterize heat transfer through enclosure in a uniform way (U-Values and R-Values).

Project #1: Can You Go Carbon Neutral?

A project consisting of a series of exercises related to your choices as a consumer of energy and a purchaser of products that consume energy.

This project consists of a series of exercises related to your choices as a consumer of energy and a purchaser of products that consume energy. Some of the exercises relate to your own personal energy choices, while others involve the design of a hypothetical small studio workspace located here in Eugene. This is an individual assignment. Discussions are encouraged, but any work you do must be on your own.

Building Physics - Test II

A test set with questions ranging from heating loads, heating systems, water systems, to acoustic performance

This is the second test of three in this course. In this test we have questions on heating loads, heating systems, water systems, and acoustic performance.

Water Supply Systems

These are lecture slides for teaching water supply systems, components, and design considerations.

This lecture covers a set of slides for teaching water supply systems, components, and design considerations that I draw from when covering this topic in a Building Systems Technology course.

Water Supply System Understanding

A lab assignment for students to study schematic riser diagrams

In this assignment I ask my students to study the schematic riser diagram and come up with question of

  • what they don't know,
  • what seems "strange" to them
  • and what is the purpose of each section.

They have to try on their own, then discuss in teams, and then develop strategies (identify methodologies) to find the best possible answers to their questions. This excercise starts in class, where I move from team to team to facilitate some of the questions for them to further their research.

Solar Transit

This tool can be used to predict the location of the sun in the sky for any date/time combination, it may also be used as a regular transit to take a horizon survey of objects. It is a terrific way to make the abstract (and complex!) solar geometry real and physical, grounded on a specific site. This tool is based on and inspired by the ones used at UC Berkeley by Charles Benton and Gail Brager, and now adapted and updated by David Fannon. This page describes the materials and construction. See the assignment for a way to use them in class.

Balance point Boxes

Materials and assembly for the balance point boxes, a simple model of a building useful for teaching and testing understanding of thermodynamics. This design is based on the one used by Charles Benton and Gail Brager at UC Berkeley, and modified by David Fannon to pack more easily for storage, with 6 boxes in 2 large tote bins. See the 6 Lab: Balance Point Game for a way to use these in class.

Environmental Systems Course Syllabus - Whole Semester - Grad Level 2017

Syllabus for Whole Semester Environmental Systems Course
(Note, the course was later broken into two half-semester courses, which is why I also uploaded a half-semester syllabus.)
Content: Review of energy and building physics, envelope energy and moisture flows, ventilation, daylighting, acoustics, indoor and outdoor water, and active building systems (including HVAC)

Syllabus for "Building [/] Human Interaction"

Syllabus for a graduate level elective on occupant behavior and health (for architects and related disciplines)
Holly W. Samuelson, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Topics: 1. Occupant behavior and its impact on building energy/environmental performance
2. Occupant health, including indoor air quality, toxic materials, design for physical activity, accessible design, lighting/views, circadian rhythms, biophilia, related rating systems, etc

Syllabus for "Energy Simulation" 2016

Semester-long advanced elective for graduate architecture and post-professional students.
Holly Samuelson, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Focus is on learning energy simulation and using it to explore concepts of building physics and design, also includes limitations and shortcomings of simulation, as well as alternatives to simulation.

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