Center for Architectural Innovation and Building Science (CAIBS)


The Center for Architectural Innovation and Building Science (CAIBS) at the University of the District of Columbia provides relevant and cutting-edge applied research and education to students, District residents, and the world in the areas of the technical performance of buildings, building materials and building systems.


  • To mitigate climate change through improved building performance
  • To develop sustainable energy solutions for existing and new buildings
  • To provide relevant workforce training for management/operation of buildings
  • To expand the understanding of building components and systems and their relationships to energy consumption

Program Overview

The research and education programs within CAIBS are guided by a desire to explore the fundamental behavior of the buildings we design, and how we might minimize their negative impact on the environment. We seek to understand the performance of a building on multiple levels, from specific components to the structure as a whole.
Part and parcel to this exploration is the need to disseminate what we learn to both building designers and building operators. Buildings account for 75 percent of the city’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change.

The District has committed to reducing its energy use and carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2032. Providing relevant training and education to District resident and businesses in the areas of energy management and building science is a key tool in the effort to achieve the city’s sustainability goals while providing economic opportunity and workforce development.

Architectural innovation changes the nature of interactions between core components of structures while reinforcing the core design concepts. Through research of current components and systems, we can understand the processes that influence performance in many areas, including, but not limited to thermal, acoustic, structural, and durability.

From this foundation, we seek to improve the built environment through science. Building science is the field of study concerned with the technical performance of buildings, building materials, and building systems. The area includes construction technology, material science, urban design, architecture, heat and mass transport physics and structural design, to name a few.

Building science is applied to the design of new buildings, the repair and maintenance of the increasing stock of existing buildings, and the development of new building materials and technologies.

CAIBS combines these two concepts to conduct research, collaborate with the academic departments in CAUSES to teach classes, and develop, implement, and evaluate education programs oriented toward the general public (land-grant certificates and workshops) that contribute in significant ways to the creation of innovative programs, products, and services and resilient urban futures.

The Center offers education in areas of building operations, high performance buildings, energy management and renewable energy that will be important for helping the city reduce its GHG emissions and reduce its energy use.


CAUSES Academic Programs

RN to BS in Nursing – Dr. Pier Broadnax, Program Director
Nutrition and Dietetics - Nancy Chapman, Program Director
Urban Architecture and Community Planning - Dr. Susan Kliman, Program Director
PSM in Water Resources Management - Dr. Tolessa Deksissa, Director
Health Education - John Slack, Program Director

CAUSES Land-grant Programs

Center for Urban Agriculture & Gardening Education – Che' Axum, Director
Center for Sustainable Development & Resilience – Dr. Dwane Jones, Director
Water Resources Research Institute – Dr. Tolessa Deksissa, Director
Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health - Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord, Director
Institute of Gerontology - Claudia John, Director
Center for 4-H and Youth Development – Rebecca Bankhead, Director
Center for Architectural Innovation and Building Science (CAIBS) - Clarence Pearson, Director

News Archive

CAUSES TV Broadcast Schedule