Building Performance & Diagnostics-School of Architecture - Carnegie Mellon University

Building Performance & Diagnostics (BPD)

When you build a thing you cannot merely build that thing in isolation, but must also repair the world around it, and within it so that the larger world at that one place becomes more coherent and more whole; and the thing which you make takes its place in the web of nature as you make it.

                    – Christopher Alexander [Architect, Theorist, Educator]

Building Performance and Diagnostics (BPD) is the comprehensive study of advanced building technologies and design, as a means of improving total-building efficiency and performance. We offer both a Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in BPD. These research-based degree programs are intended for practitioners, educators and researchers in architecture, engineering, planning, and related sectors of the building industry.

Built on principles of sustainability, the graduate programs in BPD merge fundamental knowledge in building science and environmental physics (energy conservation, thermal, lighting, acoustics, indoor air quality) with advanced building systems integration and innovative design processes. Students will become familiar with these many facets, while exploring their functional interconnectivity with building subsystems (building envelope/façade, HVAC, lighting, structure) and their relationship to occupant comfort and wellbeing.

For over 35 years Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture has been at the forefront of High Performance Building, leading the way in Advanced Building Systems, Systems Integration, Performance Simulation, and Building Diagnostics. Pursuing parallel goals of human ecology, environmental sustainability, and advanced building design and construction, the faculty of the Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics (CBPD) possess an interdisciplinary and complementary range of expertise, from professional practice to fundamental and applied research.

In conjunction with the Advanced Building Systems Integration Consortium (ABSIC), the CBPD is supported as one of the National Science Foundation's Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) and remains one of only three IUCRCs dedicated to the built environment. For decades, the CBPD has been instrumental in the application of major systems integration concepts and advanced technologies to significant building projects in the USA and around the world, including China, Singapore, Korea, France, and Germany.

In 1994, in conjunction with ABSIC, the CBPD constructed the Robert L. Preger Intelligent Workplace™. Outfitted with advanced computer and diagnostic equipment, this "living" and "lived-in" laboratory houses the BPD faculty and students while acting as a demonstration facility and information resource for teaching, research, and professional practice.

We seek students who are highly self-motivated and passionate about research, with a balanced aptitude in both the art and science involved in sustainable development, who understand the important role the built environment must play if we are to create a sustainable future. This rigorous and multifaceted program yields a variety of career opportunities. Past Graduates from the BPD program have gone on to successful careers as researchers, educators, consultants, and more.

We offer two degrees in the field of Building Performance & Diagnostics:

Master of Science (MSBPD)

Structured on a 2-year curriculum, the MSBPD program is open to students with a prior bachelor's degree and who have some connection with the building sector through architecture, engineering, urban design, planning, or management. This is a research-based degree, designed to act as a stepping-stone to PhD-level education.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD-BPD)

Students in the PhD-BPD program have the opportunity to work with a distinguished faculty, comprised of some of the industry's leaders. Students are encouraged to utilize resources both within the School of Architecture and throughout the University, providing a well-rounded and interdisciplinary educational opportunity.