Signs Case Study Library
At left: The Rotunda at the University of Virginia, originally designed by Thomas Jefferson as the campus library, and a detail of shading devices at the Phoenix Central Library, designed by Will Bruder in the past decade.
This page lists the case studies currently in our library.
You can view the list of studies in several ways: by building name, by school where
students conducted the study, or by the Vital Signs initiative with which the study is
connected (where applicable). In the near future we'll add a list of buildings by
architect (where known).
View studies by:
We also include here a list of "featured" studies. We recommend these as a good place to start in looking at the studies in our library. A study may be featured because the building investigated is widely known, the investigators used an interesting investigative method, or the work was especially well executed.
Central Library - Phoenix, AZ
Vital Signs case studies report on building performance (in particular the implications for energy consumption), the degree to which design intent is achieved, the experience of users, and the realities of how buildings really work once they are occupied. Every Vital Signs case study here includes a component of field evaluation involving direct student experience of the building. Vital Signs studies may also incorporate model studies or computer simulation, but a central tenet of the our effort is that students see and experience a building for themselves and then report on it.
The studies range in length and scope. Their authors vary from first year architecture students to graduate students in building science. Naturally, the conclusiveness of their findings and level of insights vary, although we hasten to add that a number of young students have done really excellent work. The reports are not intended to be exhaustive and comprehensive. Because they are student work, most are limited in the time period they cover. But we believe all of the studies here have something to offer - either as a pedagogic model for architectural educators, or as a first step in building a shared knowledge base on how buildings really perform and are experienced by their users.
All contents copyright (C) 1998. Vital Signs Project. All rights reserved.