Building Research Council 
School of Architecture  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 James R. Anderson

James R. Anderson is Chair of the Building Research Council and a Professor in the faculties of Landscape Architecture and Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds professional degrees in architecture and in urban planning and has been involved in the private practice of both of these professions. 

Professor Anderson's primary professional interest is in housing, especially housing for under-represented populations.. There have been several directions that this interest has taken.

Resident Satisfaction:
Along with his colleagues, he has been conducting a long-term program of research that seeks to explain satisfaction with an environment in terms of the physical, social and organizational characteristics of the environment. Settings for this past research have included multifamily housing, housing for the elderly, housing for disabled adults, correctional facilities, military housing, offices, and central business districts. In 1995 he was the Principal Investigator for a study examining the ability of residents of Section 8 housing to assess the HQS compliance of their housing. This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). During 1997-1999 he directed a follow-up HUD study that examined the ability of residents of public housing and FHA-Assisted housing to assess the condition of their dwelling. This involved comparisons of data collected from tenants with data collected by on-site inspectors, as well as re-tests of resident and inspector data collection. In 1998 he completed a nation-wide study of building codes provisions related to construction in existing buildings. This was also funded by HUD and the report is available from HUD USER. 

Native American Housing:
Professor Anderson is Co-Principal Investigator of the Indian Housing Operating Cost Study. The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) established block grant funding for affordable housing. HUD's Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) has funded this study to examine the real cost of operating housing in Indian country and examining ways to reflect location and situation factors in the Indian Housing Block Grant fromula.This study will include the systematic collection of data and information on the practices, challenges, and costs of operating Mutual Help, Turnkey III, and Low Rent units from at least 70 of the 270 Tribes with 1937 Housing Act units.. The budgets and accounts of individual Tribes and Tribal Housing Entities are expected to be a major source of information in providing a true picture of operating costs. In this stage the research team will collect information through surveys, focus groups, and on-site visits.

This operating cost study will produce a report to HUD describing project-based operating costs for 1937 Act housing. The report will consider how this data might be used in a revised formula for calculating the cost of operating affordable housing programs in Indian country. HUD and the research team have targeted March 2006 for the completion of this study.

In February 2004, Professor Anderson and colleagues concluded five years of providing technical assistance for the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) programwork of the Office of Native American Programs of HUD. This work involved maintaining a data base on over 575 tribes and using that data for calculating the annual IHBG allocations for the tribes.

Sustainable Design:
During 2004 Professor Anderson assisted with the organization of the Small Business Smart Energy program. During this pilot phase technical assistance was offered to 20 small businesses in Illinois. This assistance was in the form of energy analyses of proposed faciliites. The use of EnergyPlus, EQuest, and other energy modeling strategies was explored by the project team. Energy conserving opportunites were proposed to each of the business. Professor Anderson has been a member of the University's Environmental Council and Committee for a Sustainable Campus.

Computer Applications:
An additional area of research for Professor Anderson is the area of computer applications in architecture and design. He has developed software for the analysis of energy loss in single family homes and has taught computer-based design studios. Together with several colleagues he has been involved in the development of computer-based education strategies in architecture. This has led to several publications on computer-based education in the built environment. He has a working knowledge of several computer languages and operating systems. This includes the statistical package SPSS, the computer assisted interviewing language QPL, as well as 3D modeling software, such as formZ

Along with his colleagues, Professor Anderson has received several national awards. These include a Progressive Architecture Research Award in 1980 and 1982, as well as an American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award for Research 1982 and 1989). In addition, he served as a consultant to Professor Dorothy Butterfield on the study of the design of exterior spaces of group homes for the developmentally disabled (American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award for Research, 1985). 

Professor Anderson has been the author and co-author of numerous publications. His writings have frequently been used as part of the program material for the Associated Collegiate Schools of Architecture annual student competition on urban housing. He has been an invited speaker at many universities including the University of Sydney (Australia), the University of Lund (Sweden), as well as Michigan, Wisconsin, and other universities in this country. He has recently conducted research in Sweden that examines collective housing in that country. 

Professor Anderson has been teaching in the Graduate Program of the School of Architecture since 1974. His seminars focus upon methods of research in designed environments and his design studios focus upon the application of research information and the inclusion of social and cultural issues in design. His design studios often focus upon housing environments. Recent and current students have addressed a variety of topics related to housing, digital tools, and sustainability.

Professor Anderson directs the School's continuing education program. The Building Research Council has a long history of providing continuing education courses to a number of audiences. Since 1999 the focus has been expanded to include upon the needs of the architectural profession, focusing upon the AIACES requirements for members of the AIA.

Professor Anderson serves on several committees within the School, College, and the University.

Contact Jim at 

 Last updated 6/8/05

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