Photo: John Quale

John Quale

  • Professor
  • / 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