The Emergence of Building Science: Historical Roots, Concepts, and Application

Jens G. Pohl, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo


The design of buildings and the broader field of environmental design are often described as an art and a science. Design is an art because of both the complexity of the problem solving and decision making process involved and the innate desire of the designer to produce a solution that is unique and at the same time pleasing to our human senses. In the first instance, the complexity of the design process itself is not necessarily due to the complexity of any single issue or factor that must be considered, although some of these certainly demand in-depth subject matter knowledge, but rather the many interrelationships among those factors.