After exploring what it means to see architectural practice in an ethical framework, this thesis describes a design experience, namely the author’s design of the Thurgoona campus of Charles Sturt University, that is concerned with the interrelationship between environmental responsibility and architectural decision-making. This thesis is not prescriptive, but suggests a way of thinking through the complex nature of ecodesign as applied to the design and construction of large campus style buildings.
Chapter One reviews the problems of integrating environmental concerns with building design, and establishes the urgency for, and ethical responsibility of, designers to place their work in a universal environmental framework.
Chapter Two develops a research methodology which includes the analytical use of case studies. The reflective interpretation of an action grounded research methodology makes use of the author’s architectural practice and research over the last twenty years. Eight case studies selected from northern Europe ground the research in the context of a larger body of work.
Chapters Three and Four describe the design process through a rather personal journey of some of the author’s architectural work at the Thurgoona campus, and the reflective, rather than quantitative, analysis of the design process in action on this project.
Chapter Five reviews values and design principles, integrates case study data, explores of the implications to the theory, policy and practice of architecture, and identifies areas for further research.
In summary, this thesis establishes the need for designers to acknowledge the connections between building design and environmental problems, and tells the story of an ecodesign process that attempts to deal with the consequent implications to architecture.