Committee on Architecture for Education

CAE research call with Marcel Harmon, PhD 

04-06-2020 10:35 AM

On Friday, April 3rd the AIA CAE research ThinkTank call featured Marcel Harmon, an anthropologist and licensed engineer for BranchPattern who works in their Kansas office. Marcel began with an introduction to what the role of an anthropologist in a built environment consultancy can be including an overview of the different ways buildings impact humans and vice versa. He spoke to the various challenges built environments can present which cannot be captured in a POE survey, especially in educational settings which balance the needs of multiple generations. He also presented a custom-built tool his firm uses to discover paybacks and help prioritize different strategies for increasing air flow, daylight access and design considerations for decreasing response times for basic cognitive functions.

Marcel also walked through a few examples of BranchPattern's recent work, including Meadowlark Pk-8 School in Colorado which is Net Zero ready and makes use of hybrid water-based radiant/forced-air system, solar chimney, and operable windows/vents with simple color-coded lights that children can interact with to maximize fresh air flow. He also noted some best practices for decreasing the transmission of viruses in the built environment and how the current COVID-19 pandemic might lead to new ways of thinking about societal structure and how health can be protected in the built environment which led to a rich discussion.

For more of Marcel's expertise please visit his writings:

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