Document Type

Conference Proceeding


In Fall 2011, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas School of Architecture’s David G. Howryla Design Build Studio began development of UNLV’s entry into the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013, an international, university-based competition to design and build solar-powered housing prototypes. As a competition that requires collaboration between engineering, architecture, interior design, marketing, and communications, the Solar Decathlon is an effective tool for simulating teamwork on real projects. The School of Architecture’s intent was to use the Solar Decathlon as a catalyst for creating UNLV’s Design Build program. The project allowed the School to use support for the project to acquire tools & equipment essential to creating the house, and for upgrading the school’s shop facilities. The projects completed immediately following the Solar Decathlon utilized both digital fabrication and prefabrication. This is significant because the School intends to leverage both of these competencies, developed during the Solar Decathlon, in order to further the School’s craft-based pedagogy. Due to the Design Build Studio’s success in developing the Solar Decathlon house, there has been significant interest from multiple parties in using the program’s offsite construction experience to create projects that will benefit from these lessons.


design-build; Solar Decathalon; program development; craft-based pedagogy; higher education


Architectural Engineering | Architectural Technology | Architecture


2015 Building Technology Educators' Society Conference, June 24-27, 2015, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Publisher Citation

Jacob Gines, Erin Carraher, Jose Galarza. Intersections & Adjacencies: Leadership in Architectural Technology Education: Proceedings of the 2015 Building Technology Educators' Society Conference. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah, 2015.