Kyle Konis, Ph.D., AIA

Assistant Professor

BA in Architectural Studies, University of Washington M.Arch, Yale University PhD, Building Science, University of California, Berkeley

Kyle Konis, Ph.D, AIA is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at USC. His courses focus on techniques and measurable methods for integrating sustainable design principles into architectural practice and urban design. Kyle’s research interests are centered on improving the feedback loop between design and the performance outcomes of buildings in use, with an emphasis on the experience of building occupants.

In 2011, Kyle received a Ph.D in Architecture with an emphasis in Building Science from U.C. Berkeley. His Ph.D dissertation extends into the realms of engineering, physical computing, product design and social science, with the goal of leveraging rich and granular occupant feedback data as a critical instrument for evaluating and improving the design and performance of low-energy commercial buildings. While completing his Ph.D, Kyle worked for four years as a graduate research assistant with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Windows and Daylighting Group on high performance facade research funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission. His research experience also includes examining the feasibility of net-zero energy homes and demand response (DR) enabling technology. While at Berkeley, Kyle received the “Bears Breaking Boundaries” Award from the U.C. Berkeley Chancellor for Science and Technology.

Kyle is a registered architect in the state of Washington and has worked professionally for Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in Seattle and for Sir Michael Hopkins and Long and Kentish Architects in London. Kyle holds a Masters of Architecture degree from Yale University where he received the Multon Andrus Award for Excellence in Art and Architecture in 2004. Prior to coming to USC, Kyle held an appointment at Portland State University.

Kyle is a member of the IESNA Daylighting and Daylighting Metrics Committees. His research has been published in a number of prominent journals including Energy and Buildings, Building and Environment, Solar Energy, Intelligent Buildings International, and LEUKOS. Kyle has recently completed a book (co-authored by Stephen Selkowitz) published by Springer entitled, Effective Daylighting With High-Performance Facades, Emerging Design Practices (link to book).

Honors and Awards

  • 2016 Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) New Researcher Award.
  • 2014/2015 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) New Faculty Teaching Award.
  • 2014/2015 ASCA Housing Design Education Award.
  • 2014/2015 Building Technology Educator's Society (BTES) Emerging Faculty Award.

Funded Research Projects

  • 2016 AIA Upjohn Research Initiative Grant Recipient ($20k). A Circadian Daylight Metric and Design Assist Tool for Improved Occupant Health and Well-Being.
  • 2014 The Building Occupant Mobile Gateway (O.M.G.) ($150k). Research grant funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC) Energy Innovations Small Grant (EISG) program. The objective of the O.M.G. is to leverage mobile sensing as a platform to enable design teams to validate and continually refine the performance of low-energy and environmentally responsive design strategies.
  • 2013 SoCal Gas Sub-Award ($25k). Research grant to conduct investigations on passive and low energy strategies to assist the non-residential commercial market in achieving sustainability, Zero Net Energy (ZNE), and thermal comfort.
  • 2013 AIA Upjohn Research Initiative Grant Recipient ($25k). Daylighting Design Performance Criteria for Alzheimer Care Facilities, Towards Evidence-based Best Practices for Improved Health.
  • 2012 NCARB Award ($15k) Performance as a Design Driver: Creating a Framework to Integrate Practitioner Knowledge in the Design Studio.

Journal Publications

  • Konis K. and Annavaram M. (2017). The Occupant Mobile Gateway: A participatory sensing and machine-learning approach for occupant-aware energy management. Building and Environment, Volume 118, June 2017, Pages 1–13.
  • Konis K. (2017). A Novel Circadian Daylight Metric for Building Design and Evaluation. Building and Environment, Volume 113, February 2017, Pages 22–38.
  • Konis K., Orosz M., Sintov N. (2016). A Window into Occupant-driven Energy Outcomes. Energy and Buildings, Vol. 116, March 2016, Pages 206–217.
  • Konis K., Gamas A., Kensek K. (2016). Passive Performance and Building Form: An Optimization Framework for Early-stage Design Support. Solar Energy. Vol. 125, February 2016, Pages 161–179.
  • Konis K., Lee E.S. (2015). Measured Daylighting Potential of a Static Optical Louver System Under Real Sun and Sky Conditions. Building and Environment, Volume 92, October 2015, Pages 347–359.
  • Konis K. (2014). Predicting Visual Comfort in Side-lit Open-plan Core Zones: Results of a Field Study Pairing High Dynamic Range Images with Subjective Responses. Energy and Buildings. Volume 77, July 2014, Pages 67–79.
  • Konis K. (2013). Leveraging Ubiquitous Computing as a Platform for Collecting Real-time Occupant Feedback in Buildings. Intelligent Buildings International. Volume 5, Issue. 3, April 2013, Pages 150 - 161.
  • Konis K. (2013). Evaluating Daylighting Effectiveness and Occupant Visual Comfort in a Side-lit Open-plan Office Building in San Francisco, California. Building and Environment. Volume 59, January 2013, Pages 662–677.
  • Konis K., Lee E.S., Clear R.D. (2011). Visual Comfort Analysis of Innovative Interior and Exterior Shading Systems for Commercial Buildings using High Resolution Luminance Images. The journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (LEUKOS). Volume 7, Number 3, 2011.
  • Ph.D Dissertation Effective Daylighting: Evaluating Daylighting Performance in the San Francisco Federal Building from the Perspective of Building Occupants. Center for the Built Environment, U.C. Berkeley 2012.

Currently Teaching
  • 419
    Architectural Sustainability Tools and Methods
    Architectural Sustainability Tools and Methods
    What is sustainable design? How do you do it? And how do you know when you have succeeded? With the mainstream acceptance of the green building movement, an increasing number of buildings are promoted as examples of green or sustainable design. However, many “green” buildings do not live up to even basic expectations for resource efficiency, are expensive and accessible to only a small fraction of the population, create environments that are unhealthy, have life-spans that are short-lived due to their inability to adapt to changing end-user needs, and fail to create a meaningful sense of place or community. Defining sustainability requires accounting for the complex interaction of cultural, political, economic and ecological issues encompassing each project. And, it requires understanding how intervention at the scale of a single project can work to support outcomes at the scale of the street, neighborhood, district and beyond. This course begins by setting the context of the present crisis and the complex interconnections that exist. We will then attempt to dismantle the preconceived, incorrect understandings of “green” design and develop appropriate, fundamental principles for a sustainable built environment through a critical examination of existing sustainability metrics and rating systems. Throughout the semester, the course will establish knowledge of sustainable design principles through exploration of central concepts (e.g. resource efficiency, environmental responsiveness, adaptability, life-cycle assessment, place / placelessness), case studies of innovative projects, software tools, and self-directed research. In addition to Los Angeles, a range of urban (and urbanizing) locations across the world will serve as laboratories for investigation. The final third of the semester will be spent examining how specific sustainability performance objectives and strategies can be applied to develop innovative and holistic architectural proposals.
  • 519
    Sustainability in the Environment: Infrastructures, Urban Landscapes, and Buildings
    Sustainability in the Environment: Infrastructures, Urban Landscapes, and Buildings
    Working with established and emerging environmental management frameworks, this course aims to explore and apply practical (and measurable) approaches to address urban sustainability challenges at the street, neighborhood, district, and municipal scale with a focus on regions within the greater Los Angeles area as laboratories for investigation. The course generates an overall picture of L.A.'s metabolism to map and analyze resource flows and to examine the city’s ecological footprint. It evaluates where and how resources are used and where action might be taken to transform existing infrastructures, landscapes and buildings to meet sustainability performance goals established by the city of Los Angeles, the State of CA, and the class.
  • 575a
    Systems The Thermal Environment
    Systems The Thermal Environment
    Learn to apply the fundamental scientific principles governing the thermal environment and human physiology to contemporary issues of environmentally responsive building design and resource efficiency. Students will explore the technologies and strategies to control the indoor environment as well as the basic analyses needed to inform design decision-making and examine project performance. The course will cover the laws of thermodynamics, heat transfer and solar geometry in the context of building design and operation, and occupant comfort - the building as an environmental filter, where environmentally responsive design strategies are used to minimize the size and operation of mechanical systems and demand for energy from renewable sources. Following these steps, energy efficient mechanical systems, controls, and renewable energy technologies will be covered as a supplement to these strategies.
  • 588
    Interactive Architecture Computing and the Physical World
    Interactive Architecture Computing and the Physical World
    This course is a seminar and workshop exploring physical interaction with computational media in real time. The widespread diffusion of sensing, computational, and communicative media into the physical realm presents an opportunity for exploring and constructing intelligent objects understood through dynamic and complex relationships of adaptation and improvisation to the environment, the site, and the human body. The course will chart and explore a range of approaches for integrating computation into the physical realm through a series of projects using physical computing prototyping tools. This course is focused on self-directed, project-based learning within and experimental and collaborative setting. Students will design and develop projects that use sensors and microcontrollers to translate sensory input to control electro-mechanical devices such as motors, servos, lighting or other hardware in real time. There are no prerequisites for the class. This is an interdisciplinary course and students from outside the School of Architecture are welcomed and encouraged to register
  • 692bL
    Building Science Thesis
    Building Science Thesis
    Prerequisite(s): ARCH 596 This course has several coincident agendas. We will complete the Master’s Thesis for the Building Science program which each student has developed in preceding 596 and 692a classes. But in the process, we will address a broad range of ancillary topics. We will create a “culture of learning” as part of the course. Although it is a studio course, there will be guest lecturers, lectures of assigned topics and periodic reviews, as well as normal studio time. We will review the scientific method in general and as it applies to each thesis topic. We will consider the value and impact of investigative tools in the process and product of Architecture. We will write papers which could be submitted to conferences or journals as a prototype of technology transfer (and a measure of the value and validity of the material.) Those of you who have had abstracts accepted will use the abstracts as topics for these papers. We will do several interim presentations to the first year students and to outside consultants and to committee members, prior to the final presentation. We will examine topics in Building Science which are of current interest, whether or not one of the current theses addresses these topics. We will write the thesis in several stages, so that there is opportunity to modify and improve both the research and the writing prior to the thesis due date. Prior to the due date (currently April 1) each student will produce a thesis in the format acceptable to the University and with content acceptable to all committee members. Finally, each student will produce a shorter version of the thesis material in a format consistent with publication. In the process, each student will learn something about the content area of each other student’s thesis.
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