Center for Architectural Innovation and Building Science (CAIBS)


The Center for Architectural Innovation and Building Science (CAIBS) provides relevant and cutting-edge applied research opportunities and educational opportunities to students, District residents, and the region in the areas of technical building performance, 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 the management and operation of buildings
  • To expand the understanding of building components and systems, and their relationship to energy consumption

Program Overview

The research and education programs within CAIBS are guided by a desire to explore the fundamental behavior of buildings, and how their negative impact on the environment can be minimized. CAIBS seeks to understand the performance of a building on multiple levels, from specific components to the structure as a whole.

Central to this exploration is the need to disseminate acquired insights both building designers and 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 a 50 percent reduction of its energy use and carbon emissions by 2032. Providing relevant training and education to District residents and businesses in the areas of energy management and building science is a key step 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, researchers can understand the processes that influence performance in many areas, including, but not limited to thermal interactions, acoustics, structure, and durability.

From this foundation, CAIBS seeks to improve the built environment through science. This impacts areas such as construction technology, material science, urban design, architecture, and structural design. CAIBS combines these concepts to conduct research, collaborate with the academic departments in CAUSES, and contribute in significant ways to the creation of innovative programs, products and services. As a component of this effort, the Center offers education in the areas of building operations, high performance buildings, energy management and renewable energy.