Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: Externalization in Architecture to Increase Social and Environmental Connectivity


Buildings currently account for 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions annually, worldwide. Despite the acceleration of climate change, architecture is increasingly designed as hermetically sealed boxes, requiring increased conditioning, which in turn further contributes to the greenhouse gas emissions warming up our planet. In addition to disassociating people from the natural environment, this also creates spaces where people disconnect from their community, and live within boxes both physically and socially. Though current research addresses many environmental and human health concerns that arise from internalized architecture, it does not address the social disconnection nor is there any specific terminology and research that focus on externalizing programming as a strategy. To fill this gap, this synthesis establishes important terminology and research to support ‘externalization’, and explores the environmental and social impacts of externalizing programs through both design evaluation and morphology. Through thorough literature review, case studies research and analysis, the importance and impacts of externalization is defined. Then an externalization taxonomy is developed to support designers in two ways – as a design evaluation tool and as a design support for integrated architectural design and innovation that would better demonstrate how externalization can create integrated designs that provide layers of environmental, social, and health benefits while reducing the total building energy demands. Especially in the context of the current pandemic (COVID-19), externalization is evermore important. The synthesis provides the necessary groundwork to allow for externalization to be researched further, and provide designers the necessary framework to shift towards externalized design approaches.

Author Information
Christina Brown, Carnegie Mellon University, United States
Erica Cochran, Carnegie Mellon University, United States
Dana Cupkova, Carnegie Mellon University, United States
Vivian Loftness, Carnegie Mellon University, United States
Azadeh Sawyer, Carnegie Mellon University, United States
Nida Rehman, Carnegie Mellon University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICSEEHawaii2021
Stream: Climate change

This paper is part of the IICSEEHawaii2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by amp21