Research News

The health, vitality, resilience, and sustainability of the built environments we inhabit and engage rely on the discoveries and innovations coming out of the College of Built Environments. Check out the latest in BE Research Events and News below.


$250,000 gift from NBBJ to the UW College of Built Environments will advance applied research in the built environment

NBBJ – a global architecture, planning and design firm – will donate a quarter of a million dollars to establish a ground breaking partnership with the University of Washington’s (UW) College of Built Environments (CBE). The gift will forge multiple relationships over many years, touching faculty, students and researchers who advance knowledge of our understanding…

National Science Foundation grant to fund research on urbanization and the ecosystem

Professor Marina Alberti, Ph.D. has been awarded a five-year, $500,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate and understand how humans and their settlements affect the planet’s ecosystem. Professor Alberti is Associate Dean for Research in the College of Built Environments and director of the Urban Ecology Research Lab (UERL). According to the grant…

Earth as hybrid planet: New classification scheme places Anthropocene era in astrobiological context

For decades, as astronomers have imagined advanced extraterrestrial civilizations, they categorized such worlds by the amount of energy their inhabitants might conceivably be able to harness and use. Now, a team of researchers including Marina Alberti of the University of Washington has devised a new classification scheme for the evolutionary stages of worlds based on “non-equilibrium thermodynamics”…

Birds versus buildings

About one billion birds are killed every year when they unwittingly fly into human-made objects such as buildings with reflective windows. Such collisions are the largest unintended human cause of bird deaths worldwide — and they are a serious concern for conservationists. A new paper published in June in the journal Biological Conservation finds that,…

Moving Toward Zero: Q&A with Associate Professor Kate Simonen

What is the Carbon Leadership Forum and why is the group is relevant?   The Carbon Leadership Forum is a collaborative research effort between industry and academics. The group is focused on understanding and reducing the total life cycle carbon emissions in buildings. In particular, we study embodied carbon emissions—or the emissions that takes place…