Research Labs

In addition to individual faculty research endeavors, the School is home to several research labs. 

BUILD+PERFORM@ND: Building Performance Laboratory

Buildings are the dominant source of energy consumption and environmental emissions, therefore understanding, forecasting and visualizing the end-use energy consumption is important in curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Residential buildings account for approximately 21% of total U.S. energy consumption and housing unit efficiency is a key determinant of home energy use. However, critical knowledge gaps remain surrounding standard energy efficiency practices across the States in the US and globally.  Opportunities exist for reduction in the energy and environmental impacts to both new and existing buildings through energy efficiency, durability of the envelope that will also provide comfortable and healthy indoor environments for the occupants.

Overview: BUILD+PERFORM@ND Research Group uses evidence to promote the design and construction of Sustainable Traditional Buildings that have Zero to Low impacts on the environment. It meets these aspiration by:

  • Engaging in evidence based research that develops and uses innovative building technologies and techniques leading to high performance and low carbon buildings
  • Integrating architecture program by engaging students with Building Energy issues focused on Sustainability
  • Providing coursework that enables students to develop fundamental knowledge and skills needed to work as a design professional focused on sustainability.

Mission Statement: BUILD+PERFORM@ND Lab contributes to the design and constructing of sustainable long lasting and comfortable buildings through coursework and research on traditional architecture.

Tools & Resources: We use the following tools to explore the nexus of energy and building:





Architecture Challenge 2030:

AIA Guide for Integrating Energy Modeling in design Process:

Associated Courses:

ARCH53413–Sustainability & Energy Modeling of Traditional Architecture

ARCH40621– Sustainable Performance in Heritage Architecture

ARCH41121– Architectural Design Studio VI [Non-Western Tradition Studio]


Daedalus Lab for Graphic Visualization

The primary focus of the Daedalus Lab for Graphic Visualization is the analysis and reconstruction of architectural heritage currently in ruins or no longer existing. The graphic language used by the lab embraces and combines both traditional drafting techniques and digital media. Final results are presented in a variety of media such as watercolor, graphite, custom textured 3D models, 3D printing, laser cutting and engraving, video based presentations. One or multiple graphic outputs are selected case by case according to the aims of each individual research project.

Research projects and reconstructions are open to multicultural architectural heritage spanning from ancient Egypt to the Baroque. Projects’ selection depends by the amount and quality of information gathered/available.

Projects currently in development:


Start date

Estimated completion

Guarino Guarini’s unbuilt ecclesiastic designs



The Acropolis in Eleusis: a digital reconstruction

Spring 2019

Spring 2022

Reconstruction of the Parthenon’s North Frieze

Fall 2018

Fall 2020

Watercolor rendition of the Sainte Chappelle’s West Rose Window

Fall 2019

Fall 2020


Completed projects:

The North American Architectural Project. Echo and Vanguard

 (Chapter VI of the Doctoral Dissertation: Evolution of graphic representation in the professional exercise of the architecture projectThe drawing in the craft of architect, image versus sketch

by Fco Xabier Goñi Castañón, Visiting Scholar from the University of Navarra – Spain (Fall 2019 – Doctoral Research Project)


An analysis of the Church of Santa Maria della Provvidenza in Lisbon by Guarino Guarini

by Mary Rzepczynski (Summer 2019 – Student Research Project)


The Acropolis in Eleusis: a digital reconstruction. Part I: The Great Propylaea

by Alex Athenson, Andrea Avelar, BriAna Davidson, John Calvert, Katarzyna Baczynska, MaryGrace Lewis, Metaya Tilahun, Michael DeMaagd Rodriguez, Nastasia Buckley, Samuel Fisher, William Marsh

(Spring 2019 – Elective course: Digital Drafting and 3D Modeling)


Geometry of Faith: a stereotomic reconstruction of Sainte-Anne-la-Royale in Paris by Guarino Guarini

by Giuseppe Mazzone (Fall 2014 – Doctoral Research)


Project I: The Acropolis in Eleusis: a digital reconstruction

Project description:

The project focuses on the reconstruct of the four main buildings on the Acropolis in Eleusis:

         1. The Great Propylaea…….. (Spring 2019)

         2. The Temple of Artemis….. (Spring 2020)

         3. The Lesser Propylaea……. (Spring 2021)

         4. The Telesterion…………... (Spring 2022)

The main reference for the reconstructions are the surveys published in the Unedited Antiquities of Attica (Society of Dilettanti. London, 1817). These graphic information have been critically approached correcting eventual mismatching information between views. The construction promoted by the research is approached “stone by stone” taking in consideration both the architectural and structural layout for each building. Each component in the buildings has been individually modeled. Custom made textures have been realized by hand in watercolor, digitized and applied directly on the three-dimensional models to avoid repetitions while providing a hand-crafted quality to the final models.

The project is an application for a Spring Elective course (Digital Drafting and 3D Modeling) offered in during Spring semesters at the University of Notre Dame. The course is open to both undergraduate students (4th and 5th year) and graduate students. The applications in the course combine  traditional drawings and watercolors with digital modeling, texturing, and animations. At the end of the semester students present their work in a video presentation.    

         Additional structures on the site will be approached after the completion of the Telesterion in Spring 2022.


Selected images/videos:

The audio track in each video has been here disabled in observance of copyright requirements.

         Eleusis 01.mp4 (Ionic Capitals)

         Eleusis 02.mp4 (3D Model of the Propylaea)

         Eleusis 03.png (Ionic Capitals)

         Eleusis 04.png (Handmade Texturing for the Antefissae)

         Eleusis 05.png (3D modeling – Stage 01)

         Eleusis 06.png (3D modeling – Stage 02)

         Eleusis 07.png (3D modeling – Stage 03)

         Eleusis 08.png (Rendered view 01 – Propylaea North side)

         Eleusis 09.png (Rendered view 02 – Indoor view of the Ionic East Porch)

         Eleusis 10.png (Rendered view 03 – Indoor view of the Ionic East Porch)

         Eleusis 11.png (Geometric Analysis of the Doric East Porch)


Project II: Reconstruction of the Parthenon’s North Frieze

Project description:

The graphic reconstruction of the Parthenon’s North Frieze is used as exercise for shades and shadows in graphite for the Freshmen curse: Graphics I – Drawing.

In a span of three weeks, students receive a portion of the frieze to rendered with graphite powder on mylar (a semi-transparent drafting film). The exercise works at the opposite of traditional sketching: students apply a layer of graphite powder on their media and proceed to erase the portions in light with a stick eraser

The reference for the reconstruction is combines several sources of the frieze (pictures of actual fragments, drawings of lost pieces, and suggested reconstructions) offering a uniform and consistent graphic output. Current hypothesis on the missing portions of the frieze are approached case by case and subjected to eventual alterations when necessary

The project has been planned in three phases, two of which have been already completed:

         Phase I: The Cavalcade (Fall 2018 – realized by a team of 75 students for a total of 77 panels);

         Phase II: The Chariot Race (Fall 2019 – realized by a team of 45 students);

         Phase III: The Procession (upcoming Fall 2020)

Selected images/videos:

         Parthenon 01.mp4 (Overview of Phase I)


Project III: Watercolor Rendition of the Sainte Chappelle’s West Rose Window

Project description:

This project is part of the content Freshmen student work on during their Graphics I: Drawing course. Started in Fall 2019, the project will be completed in the upcoming Fall 2020. Each panel composing the Rose Window has been drawn in pencil first, then digitized and printed on watercolor paper. Each student received one or two panels (depending from their size) and a picture of their stained glass panel as reference for colors and hues.

The final watercolors have been digitized and scanned on wet media drafting film. When dry, the panels were applied on a laser cut wooden frame resembling the original reference for the project while  offering a chance for a back lighting similarly to stain glass windows.

Selected images:

         Panel 05.png (Some of the twenty-four Elders with the bull of St Luke and the eagle of St John             by Karalina Kulis)

         Panel 31.png (The sounding of the first trumpet; hail and fire descend on Earth by Isabella                   Botello)

         Panel 32.png (The second trumpet; a burning mountain descends into the sea by Alexandra                  Indacochea)

         Panel 40.png (Some of the two hundred million warriors destroying a third of humanity by Elise          Maletta)

         Panel 48.png (The dragon with seven heads and ten horns drags a third part of the stars from              the sky by Beau Martinez)

         Panel 72.png (The great earthquake and hailstones as heavy as coins by Madeline Hartman)

         Panel 77.png (The seven-headed beast and the two-horned beast being cast into the Hell by                 Sara Nelson)

         Panel 79.png (The New Jerusalem by David DeBacker)


Digital Historical Architectural Research and Material Analysis (D.H.A.R.M.A) Lab

Watch the DHARMA Fight For Video:

DHARMA Description: Digital Historical Architectural Research and Material Analysis (D.H.A.R.M.A) is a research team founded in 2007 based at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. The team, under the direction of Prof. Krupali Krusche, works on documenting historic monuments and buildings around the world with the use of multiple digital and analog tools. The documentation also uses state of art, Leica 3D laser scanner, a high-speed, long-range scanner ideal for projects that are difficult to document by traditional methods. The scanner provides researchers with the most field-efficient means of data collection.

D.H.A.R.M.A.has been at the forefront in documenting endangered or globally significant historic buildings such as those on UNESCO’s world heritage list or the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Due to the level, skill and quality of output produced in these projects, the analysis and documentation of each site can take anywhere from 7 to 10 years. Some ongoing projects of significance are: 

Present Projects: 

  1. 2016 till today 3D and manual documentation of the Vatican Belvedere, Vatican in collaboration with the Vatican Museums. (add image here and link to the page )

  2. 2015 till today 3D and manual documentation of the Taj Mahal, Agra, India in collaboration with Archeological Survey of India (ASI). (add image here and link to the page )

  3. 2010 till today 3D and manual documentation of the Roman Forum, Rome, Italy. App for the 3D visualization of the Forum April 2019 in collaboration with the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Colosseo e l'Area Archeologica Centrale di Roma, Italy.  (add image here and link to the page )

Past Projects: 

  1. 2008 till 2010 3D and manual documentation of the tombs of Akbar, and Itmad-ud-daulah on the riverfront of Agra, India in collaboration with Archeological Survey of India (ASI). (add image here and link to the page )

  2. 2008 Documentation and Structural study of the Zion Church in South Bend, Indiana. 

  3. 2007 Documentation and Structural study of the St. Paul’s Memorial United Methodist Church in South Bend, Indiana. 

  4. 2006 Documentation of Copshaholm, historic mansion of the Oliver family in South Bend, Indiana.  

For more information visit 


Furniture Design Lab


Historic Preservation Lab


Historic Urban Environments Lab (HUE-ND)

The Historic Urban Environments Lab (HUE/ND) at Notre Dame is an interdisciplinary team of architects, computer scientists, librarians, programmers, anthropologists and GIS specialists whose goal is to create new tools linking traditional library resources with new technologies. Building off of previous digital projects created by the Architecture Library, the Seaside Research Portal, SPQR-ND, and Building South Bend the team is currently working on several web sites and applications to better study the built environment virtually by linking historic content and traditional library resources with geo-location and digital technologies. 

HUE/ND is led by Professor Selena Anders and Jennifer Parker, Architecture Librarian, and supported by multiple students from the School of Architecture. 

Current Digital Projects:

Cities in Text: Rome 

Seaside Research Portal

SPQR-ND iPad – Available in the App Store

SPQR-ND iPhone - Available in the App Store

Building South Bend: Past, Present, & Future 

Downtown SB - Available in the App Store


Future Projects:

Latinx Murals in the Pilsen Neighborhood of Chicago