plane wing and ground geography

Beauty in Building



Contact: ml Robles
PatternMapping institute
303 443 1945

BiB Tool Helps Green Building Become Beautiful Building

Boulder, Colorado February 29, 2012 - A study recently completed by PatternMapping® institute, with the University of Colorado Civil Environmental and Architectural Engineering Department, has developed a tool that opens the door for beauty to be considered alongside building science, paving the way for qualitative measuring to inform high-performance building design and development.

"When we set out, we were pretty sure that beauty plays a role in building performance and that perhaps when we experience feeling fully alive, we might be acknowledging something in our built environment that can be measured," states ml Robles, lead researcher on the study, Beauty in Building: Measuring the Impact of Spaces That Make Us Feel Fully Alive and That Inspire, available at BeautyinBuilding white paper. The study found this to be true and further more uncovered that integration may well be a fundamental characteristic of beauty in the built environment. Using the Beauty in Building (BiB) matrix that was developed in the study to qualitatively measure a building's environmental impact, award-winning high-performing certified buildings were found to be 2.87 times more likely to have integrated building strategies than those that were within the high-performing certified group of buildings.

Although there has been substantial research to support the fact that design affects occupants, there have been no attempts to measure the impact of spaces that promote wellbeing on building performance. Do beautiful buildings perform differently? Data from the study shows evidence that, on average, award-winning high-performing certified buildings accumulate BiB points 4 to 1 over simply high-performing certified buildings.

"We expect our findings will encourage architects to speak out more confidently about the value of well-being in the built environment. Beauty has long been considered as an aesthetic proposition that has no chance of being qualified. Our study opens the door for, in the words of architect Luis Barragan, mention of inspiration and spellbound, and concepts of serenity and amazement to have a place in this critical time of rethinking how we engage the built environment. Architecture is fundamentally a creative undertaking; we shouldn't continue to ignore the role beauty plays in building performance," suggests Robles.

Living Built Environments

  • Assisting you to find existing structures
  • Fully-integrated-design leadership
  • Educating about, advocating for, and facilitating the Living Building Imperatives

Context Intelligence


Using GIS databases to produce contextual mapping.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a powerful means and method to quickly and comprehensively understand the site and region of a project. Planning and landscape design professions and civil and environmental engineering have long used GIS software and databases to do their work, architects have not. Fully understanding the context in which we are asked to build should not be an option, it must be a given. Our first work in mapping geographic patterns for use in building design was done in 2002. The context intelligence work supports making architecture and recognizes that design's highest task is to bring us into contact with living. It is ultimately a poetic gesture manifest through intelligent means.

Feed your project intelligent information →


Finding the source that underlies a subject.

The point of PatternMapping® institute is to look into timely issues that are relevant to the built-environment and to find ways that promote intelligence in using the findings. We have learned that understanding the core of a subject allows us to engage a messy, organic, and contextual reality. This is where information becomes useful. We are available to help educate:

  • Better Buildings guide: introducing the book and training staff on green standards and metrics.
  • Green Intelligence: helping manufacturers state the green attributes of their product with intelligence.
  • Teaching the community: introducing green building measures to the building community.
  • Teaching in academics: university level integrated design studio.
  • Conference presentations: specializing in green building materials information (green building standards, Better Buildings Guide)and research subjects (Beauty in Building and Context Intelligence).