Erin Moore is Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture and in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Oregon. Moore works in teaching, research and practice on life-cycle thinking in design and construction to ask: What are the life-cycle environmental impacts of construction materials? And, how can this life-cycle view of materials shape designs in ways that benefit both the environment and the design work? Moore uses quantitative tools to estimate the life-cycle environmental impacts of building construction materials. She uses her architecture practice FLOAT as a testing ground for designing with explicit intentions for the life spans and life cycle environmental context of materials with a focus on small structures for inhabiting ecologically unique sites around the world. Once such project, the Kipuka Mauka/Makai, is currently under construction in Ulupalakua, Maui.
Moore’s architectural design work has been published in 100 Contemporary Green Buildings (Cologne: Taschen, 2013), Architecture Now! 2 (Cologne: Taschen, 2011), Small Eco-Houses, (NY: Universe, 2010), Tiny Houses (NY: Rizzoli, 2009), New Prefab (Barcelona: Loft, 2008), and in Fine Home Building, Dwell, and Architectural Record magazines. Her Equilibrium Pavilion proposal was honored with a Material Equilibrium prize by architect Kengo Kuma and her Borrow Stools were shortlisted in the 2014 Lexus Design Awards.
Moore works in teaching and research to quantify the life cycle environmental impacts of building materials in construction using a life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. She has recently published an LCA comparing the environmental impacts of the building materials required to upgrade a multifamily housing project with the long-term operational impact savings. She has written on building material end-of-life impacts and on software tools for whole-building lifecycle assessment. Her life cycle assessment research earned best paper awards at the Sustainable Structures Symposium (Portland, Oregon 2014) and the Building Enclosure Sustainability Symposium (Pomona, California, 2014).
In the face of serious global challenges, Moore believes that it is especially important to develop aggressive, creative innovators who can connect the power of design with good science and rigorous ethical thinking. In her own teaching, Moore works to bring together processes of design and innovation with the science of sustainability in collaborations with chemists, ecologists, and biologists. Her class Molecular Innovation in Material Lifecycles (2013) was a collaboration with chemist Julie Haack. Her class Ecology of Building Materials: Wood (2015) was a collaboration with wood scientist Suzana Radivojevic. Moore has developed a natural history-based introductory design curriculum for the graduate studios, teaches in the terminal (or integrated design) studio sequence on topics related to global climate change, and teaches the large lecture course Introduction to Building Construction with a focus on connecting material ecology with human experience.