The Constructed Environment Journal Award

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment offers an annual award for newly published research or thinking that has been recognized to be outstanding by members of the Constructed Environment Research Network.

Award Winner for Volume 7

Strategic Additions: Reconsidering Architecture’s Stepchild

In architectural circles the single-family house is a cherished commission: the renovation of or addition to an existing home, its poor step-child. There is reason to challenge this bias within the discipline. At present, there are almost 130 million dwellings in the United States; alterations to these dwellings constitute a $300 million annual industry. Neighborhoods formed by existing housing stock are frequently “location efficient.” Retrofitting the existing building stock presents an unprecedented opportunity to address embodied energy simultaneously with energy efficiency. The scale of the impending transformation suggests the need to enlarge the disciplinary discourse to consider these commissions both pragmatically and imaginatively. This paper documents a design research project that examines retrofit design vocabularies. A reference neighborhood with early 20th century building stock was studied using tax records to identify original construction dates, sizes of homes, and retrofit status. From this data, transformation patterns were extracted and a design investigation was pursued to investigate one optimization strategy within the context of four typical housing retrofits. In doing so, the study explores how viewing existing housing stock through the lens of embodied energy and location efficiency invigorate design, and alter the reception and implementation of these projects within the discipline.

Past Award Winners

Volume 6

Autonomous Living: An Eco-social Perspective

Timothy Oluseun Adekunle, The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.1–15


Volume 5

ISO14001: A Powerful Weapon in the Battle against Anthropogenic Pollution?

Josephine Mmojieje, The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.23–37


Volume 4

The Influence of Openings on Energy Demand of Buildings: Analysis of Their Characteristic Parameters Using LIDER Software (Spain)

Izaskun Gallo Ormazábal, Justo Garcia-Navarro, and Trinidad Fernández Pérez, The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.41–57


Volume 3

New Design Protocols for Industrial-scaled Modes of Production for Carbon Neutral Buildings

Thomas Spiegelhalter, The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.219–232


Volume 2

Gendering the Ninth Floor: Lady Eaton and the Eaton’s Ninth Floor Restaurant, Montréal

Maya Soren, The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.179–206


Volume 1

Architecture and Public Policy

Jurij Leshchyshyn, The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.165–174