Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and New York City-based architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) have created CASE / Center for Architecture Science and Ecology—an education- and research-focused collaboration aimed at developing innovative solutions to global environmental challenges.

"The most meaningful performative design innovations will be achieved by collaboration between the leaders in academic research and transdisciplinary professional practice," said Carl Galioto, partner-in-charge of SOM New York's Technical Group, in a statement about the program. "Rensselaer and SOM have come together to create the environment that will advance building science to the forefront of creative endeavors."

Rensselaer has shaped its School of Architecture's advanced degree program in Built Ecologies around the CASE. The collaboration brings together scientists, engineers, and architects from the professional and academic worlds, including master's and doctoral degree candidates in the Built Ecologies program who share residency between the Rensselaer campus and the CASE office. Working with building professionals and postdoctoral researchers, the students develop projects and thesis topics tied to specific building challenges and addressing next-generation building systems.

SOM and Rensselaer's collaboration will create ecologically sustainable design through cutting-edge technological experimentation and architectural work, according to Rensselaer president Shirley Ann Jackson. Current topics of research include energy sources, structural systems, resource efficiency, thermal systems, and environmental controls. For more information about CASE, visit