University of Oregon

Department of Architecture

Programs in Architecture and Interior Architecture

GZ (Charlie) Brown

G.Z. Brown

phone: (541) 346-5647
office: 103 Pacific Hall

M.Arch. Yale University, 1976
M.B.A. University of Akron, 1971
M.A. (Industrial/Graphic Design) Michigan State University, 1966
B.A. (Industrial Design) Michigan State University, 1964
Registered Architect: Oregon

Professor G. Z. (Charlie) Brown is the director of the UO Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory (ESBL) in Portland and Eugene. He challenges students to seek design solutions that integrate energy awareness and aesthetics in his design studios and seminars, and in his courses on site and building climatology, daylighting, and energy simulation.

As director of the ESBL, he develops and oversees research projects focused on understanding how building and transportation design determines energy consumption. The lab collaborates with designers, builders, developers, and governmental agencies to develop strategies and design tools that maximize energy efficiency in new materials, components, assemblies, buildings, and communities.

In 2002, Brown expanded, opening the Portland Laboratory to make daylighting training, consulting, and modeling services more easily accessible to professionals in the Northwest. The ESBL has acted as a design consultant on more than 100 projects.

Brown is the author of a pioneering book on the practice of sustainable design, Sun, Wind and Light: Architectural Design Strategies (John Wiley & Sons, 1985, 2001) and co-author of Natural Ventilation in Northwest Buildings (2004) and Inside Out: Design Procedures for Passive Environmental Technologies (John Wiley & Sons, 1982, 1992). His list of publications includes more than 100 papers and reports on computing, energy, climate, and housing. He has also co-authored software programs to facilitate design including Energy Scheming, SIP Scheming, Energy Module, and Auto Architect.

Brown served as an advisor on the Global Warming project for the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress in 1991, and in 1988 he collaborated on a study investigating the impacts of climate change on the energy performance of buildings.

His research topics have included visualization of building information, manually-activated pneumatic shade controls, natural ventilation, daylighting (including the impact of structural design), heat exchangers, modular construction (with a focus on structural insulated panels), classroom design, building massing, passive design, insulation, energy auditing, and straw bale construction.

Brown is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and the American Solar Energy Society, and he has received awards for leadership in research from the U.S. Green Building Council and the Architectural Research Centers Consortium. In 1984, Brown was the recipient of both the National Award for Energy Innovation from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Governor’s Award for Energy Innovation from the State of Oregon. His teaching experience includes positions as a Cass Gilbert Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota, a Senior Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Trondheim in Norway, a Senior Fulbright Lecturer at the Federal University of Technology in Yola, Nigeria, and a Sam Gibbons Eminent Scholar at the University of South Florida. Brown has traveled extensively both as a lecturer and a researcher.