Photo: John  Quale

John Quale

  • Professor and Chair

/ 505.277.1199


  • Master of Architecture, University of Virginia School of Architecture
  • American University School of International Service, Asian Studies and Intercultural Affairs


  • Offsite Construction
  • Affordable Housing
  • Sustainable Design
  • Public interest Design

Professor Quale's Visual Portfolio

John Quale, Chair and Professor of Architecture at the University of New Mexico School of Architecture + Planning, is an expert in sustainable design, offsite construction and public interest design.  Quale is the Founder and Director of the ecoMOD project, an interdisciplinary design, build and evaluate project to create high performance affordable homes. ecoMOD was established in 2004, while he was a faculty member at the University of Virginia and it moved with him to UNM in 2014.  Three ecoMOD projects have achieved a LEED Platinum rating and two certified under the U.S. Passive House standard – all within affordable housing budgets.   Quale is also the Director of the Jeff Harnar Award for Contemporary Architecture in New Mexico. 

A Fulbright Scholar at the University of Tokyo and the Thomas Jefferson Fellow at Cambridge University, Quale is the author of Sustainable, Affordable, Prefab:  the ecoMOD Project, and co-author / editor of Offsite Architecture:  Constructing the Future, forthcoming from Routledge.  He led the award-winning 2002 UVA Solar Decathlon Team. His work and / or teaching has been featured on National Public Radio, CNN and HGTV and in various publications including Architect Magazine, Metropolis Magazine, Architectural Record, Dwell and The New York Times.  He has received over 30 design or education awards, including the 2013 Architect Magazine R+D Award, the AIA Education Honor Award, the NCARB Grand Prize, and the USGBC Excellence in Green Building Curriculum Award, and finalist status for the UN World Habitat Award.  He was the University of Virginia nominee for the Carnegie / CASE U.S. Professor of the Year Award.  He has given over 90 keynote or invited public lectures at locations such as the National Building Museum and the Urban Center, and at over 35 universities including Cambridge, Oxford, Sheffield, Tokyo, Princeton, Michigan and several others.   He has served on the jury for the AIA / ACSA Housing Design Education Award; the international selection committee for the Masdar Headquarters in Abu Dhabi, and has twice served on the national AIA COTE Top Ten jury, and served on the AIA COTE Student Top Ten jury in 2017.


ARCH 462/662 - ecoMOD Affordable Housing

ARCH 402/602 - Studio IV

ARCH 472/572 - Design Visualization: Photography Place

Peer Reviewed Books

OFFSITE ARCHITECTURE:  Constructing the Future, peer-reviewed, Ryan Smith and John Quale, Routledge Taylor & Francis, 2017.
Sustainable, Affordable, Prefab: the ecoMOD project, John D. Quale, peer-reviewed, University of Virginia Press, 2012
OFFSITE:  Theory and Practice of Architectural Production, peer-reviewed proceedings for ACSA Fall 2012 Conference, edited by Ryan Smith, John Quale and Rashida Ng, Association of the Collegiate Schools of Architecture, 2013

Other Books

Carbon Neutral Affordable Housing:  A Guidebook for Affordable Housing Providers; by Emily Kilroy, John D. Quale and James Wasley, distributed for free to by the Carbon Neutral Design Initiative, 2011
Trojan Goat:  A Self-Sufficient House, John D. Quale, foreword by Kenneth Frampton, Volume 1 in the UVA School of Architecture’s 'Urgent Matters' book series, distributed by the University of Virginia Press, 2005

Peer Reviewed Essays in Books + Journals

Design, Build, Evaluate: Connecting with Actual Humans, chapter in book “Design Build Education in North America,” edited by Chad Kraus, under contract with Routledge Taylor & Francis, publication anticipated in 2016.

BESS 2013:  Proceedings of Towards Net Zero -- the Building Enclosure Sustainability Symposium and Sustainable Building Conference, ARCC 2013, edited by Pablo La Roche and Judson Taylor, Keynote Address, June 2013

The Visibility of Research:  Proceedings of the Architectural Research Conference, ARCC 2013 “Commercializing Energy Efficient Affordable Housing:  the ecoMOD South Project,” March 201

Journal of Industrial Ecology, Yale University, “Construction Matters: Comparing Environmental Impacts of Building Modular and Conventional Homes in the United States,” by John Quale, Matthew Eckelman, Greg Sloditskie and Julie Zimmermann, Volume 16, Issue 2, pages 243–253, April 2012

GreenBuild Thought Leadership Proceedings, U.S. Green Building Council Annual Conference, peer reviewed presentation and papers, “Two Recent Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) Studies for Buildings: On-Site versus Off-site Construction and Building Material Reuse,” 2011

Bridging the Gap: Architectural Internships in the Public Interest; author of essay in public service internships at UVA and within ecoMOD; Georgia Bizios and Katie Wakeford, editors; NC State College of Design; 2011

Precedents in Zero-Energy Design: Architecture and Passive Design in the 2007 Solar Decathlon; by Michael Zaretsky, foreward by John D. Quale, Routledge, 2009

The Value of Design, Proceedings of 2009 ACSA Annual Meeting, peer-reviewed essay (32% acceptance rate) “ecoMOD3 -- the SEAM House:  Historic Preservation as Social and Environmental Justice,” Phoebe Crisman and Mark Gillem, editors; ACSA Press, March 2009, pages 533-539

The Value of Design, Proceedings of 2009 ACSA Annual Meeting, peer-reviewed essay (32% acceptance rate) “Revising the American Dream:  Making Sustainable Housing Affordable For All,” Phoebe Crisman and Mark Gillem, editors; ACSA Press,  March 2009, pages 634-640

Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism, author of essay on ecoMOD in collected volume; Bryan Bell and Katie Wakeford, editors; Metropolis Books, 2008, pages 200-207

DESIGNhabitat2:  Studies in Prefab Affordable Housing, the DESIGNhabitat Program, Auburn University School of Architecture, by David Hinson and Stacy Norman, foreward by John D. Quale, 2008, page 3

Cityscape:  A Journal of Policy Development and Research, Special Issue on Hurricane Response, peer-reviewed essay “A Sustainable Housing Response to Hurricane Katrina,” Kathleen Dorgan, Michael Monti and Kinnard D. Wright, guest editors; published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Volume 10, Number 3, Fall 2008, pages 101-112

The Oxford Conference:  A Re-Evaluation of Education in Architecture; author of peer-reviewed essay “The Case for Real Buildings with Real Budgets,” S. Roaf and A. Bairstow, editors; WIT Press, 2008, pages 149-152

Eco-Architecture II:  Harmonisation Between Architecture and Nature, member of international technical advisory committee and author of peer-reviewed essay: “Hands On Learning: the ecoMOD Project;” G. Broadbent and C. A. Brebbia, editors; WIT Press, 2008, pages 171-180

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Associate Editor and author of peer-reviewed essay “Sustainable Opportunities in Prefabricated Construction,” 2007

Summer Institute of Architecture Journal 2007, Catholic University of America, “Assuming Responsibility:  Investigating the Architecture of Stewardship,” Volume 4, “John Quale / ecoMOD / Interview 06.20.2007,”  (other interviews with Andrew Freear of Rural Studio; Cameron Sinclair of Architecture for Humanity; and John Peterson of Public Architecture), pages 6-15

Rural Studio; Cameron Sinclair of Architecture for Humanity; and John Peterson of Public Architecture), pages 6-15

Fresh Air, Proceedings of 2007 ACSA Annual Meeting, peer-reviewed essay “ecoMOD Project,” in section on 2007 ACSA Award Winners, Judith Bing and Cathrine Veikos, editors; March 2007, pages 55-57

Eco-Architecture:  Harmonisation Between Architecture and Nature, peer-reviewed essay: “Ecological, Modular and Affordable Housing;” G. Broadbent and C. A. Brebbia, editors; WIT Press, 2006, pages 53-62

Archipelagos:  Outposts of the Americas, Proceedings of 2004 ACSA Annual Meeting, peer-reviewed essay “Form but not Style: Seeking a Climate-Responsive Design Pedagogy,” Robert Alexander Gonzalez, Marilys Rebeca Nepomechie; March 2004, pages 491-495

306090, A Journal of Emergent Architecture + Design, Issue 04:  Global Trajectories, peer-reviewed essay “Trojan Goat,” Jason K. Johnson and Nataly Gattegno, editors; Princeton Architectural Press, Spring 2003, pages 86-91

Invited Essays

White Paper: Improving Construction Efficiency and Productivity with Modular Construction; Modular Building Institute, Charlottesville, VA, 2010

Sustainable Homes; author of essay on UVA Solar Decathlon house; Jacobo Krauel, editor; Links International; Barcelona, Spain, 2009, pages 138-145

Rebuilding After Katrina:  Visions for the Gulf Coast, edited by Betsy Roettger, author of essay “ecoMOD2:  the preHAB house,” volume two in the UVA School of Architecture’s 'Urgent Matters' book series, distributed by University of Virginia Press, 2007, pages 137-148

The Next American City, “Prefab Housing Goes Green Gracefully” author of essay for quarterly magazine, Issue 11, Summer 2006, pages 47-48

Sustain Magazine:  Offsite Construction (OSC) Magazine Supplement, “Finding the Potential in Prefab,” London, Summer 2006, pages 30-31

Lunch, Volume 1:  Trespass, graduate student journal of the School of Architecture, essay “Housing:  Ecological, Modular and Affordable,” (adapted from essay that appears in Eco-Architecture:  Harmonisation Between Architecture and Nature), May 2006, pages 61-69

The New Orleans Principles:  Celebrating the Rich History of New Orleans Through Commitment to a Sustainable Future, one of dozens of contributors to report from U.S. Green Building Council’s New Orleans Planning Charrette, edited by Alex Wilson; published by BuildingGreen Inc., Brattleboro, VT, January 2006

cityworkslosangeles handbook, two essays in book published by the CITYWORK community design center, Los Angeles, CA,2005, pages 61-71 and 72-75


ecoMOD Project

Young African Leader Institute (faculty)

Carbon Neutral Design Initiative

2002 Solar Decathlon


Fulbright Scholar, University of Tokyo, Japan, 2010

Thomas Jefferson Visiting Fellow, Downing College, University of Cambridge, England, 2010

Academic Community Engagement (ACE) Faculty Fellow, University of Virginia, 2006

National Science Foundation:  Design as a Creative Model for Technical Inquiry, participant, 2004



Architect Magazine R&D Award, ecoMOD South

UN World Habitat Award, Finalist

University of Virginia Nominee for Carnegie / CASE U.S. Professor of the Year Award

University of Virginia Alumni Board Of Trustees Teaching Award

NCARB Grand Prize

AIA Education Honor Award

ACSA Collaborative Practice Award

Virginia Society AIA Prize for Design Research and Scholarship, ecoMOD South

University of Virginia Seven Society Teaching Award

USGBC Excellence In Green Building Curriculum Award

2002 Solar Decathlon, First Place for Design And Livability (Architecture) and First Place (Tie) for Energy Balance, and Second Place Overall

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) Advanced E-Team Grant Award

Passive Projects Competition Winner, Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS)

ACSA / AIA Housing Design Education Award / Curriculum Category

ACSA Creative Achievement Award; Virginia Society AIA Prize for Design Research and Scholarship

Excellence In Green Building Curriculum Award, U.S. Green Building Council

Design Like You Give a Damn LIVE, Autodesk Sustainability Prize

Housing Hero Award, Albemarle Housing Improvement Program

Finalist, Metropolis Magazine Next Generation Design Competition

Metropolitan Home Magazine, Design’s Rising Stars, 3rd Place

1993 ACSA/American Wood Council National Student Design Competition, First Place.


Selected Media Coverage + Commentaries

Architect Magazine; Architectural Record; Architecture; CNN International; DIY-TV; Dwell Magazine; Environmental Building News; Green Source; The Guardian (UK); HGTV; Hors Serie (France); Marketplace Midday Update; Metropolis; The New York Times; Science & Vie (France); Sustain Magazine; Urban Land; Utne Reader; Weekend Edition, NPR; The Washington Post


Keynote Speaker

“Oxford Conference on Architectural Education,” Oxford University, Oxford, UK

“Thurrock:  Big Skies, Big Thinking,” Royal Opera House          

“Advancing Towards Net Zero:  Building Enclosure Sustainability Symposium,” Pomona, CA        

“Procure, Produce, Perform, Sustainable Housing Conference,” University of Sheffield, UK

Lectures + Presentations

Architectural Association                                                                                           
Cambridge University
Catholic University of America
City College of New York
Cornell University
Drury University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Imperial College London
Mississippi State University
North Carolina State University
Northeastern University
Ohio State University
Oxford University
Oxford Brookes University
Princeton University School of Architecture
Rhode Island School of Design
University of Arkansas – Fayetteville
University of Cincinnati
University of Oregon 
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
University of Michigan
University of Texas at Austin
University of Tokyo
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Yestermorrow Design Build School


Selected Competition Juror 

AIA-COTE Top Ten Green Projects

International Competition for Masdar Headquarters, Abu Dhabi

UVA Faculty Teaching Award Committee Member

USGBC Excellence In Green Building Curriculum Award