Architecture News

Paul W. Davidson III Memorial Scholarship

The Paul W. Davidson III Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established in the School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The scholarship fund was created by his family, classmates and colleagues to honor Paul’s memory and life. He started his academic career at College of DuPage before transferring to UIUC.

The fund will allow the School of Architecture to award a scholarship to promising architecture students who have financial need. Click here for more information about Paul and the scholarship fund.

Gathering Pavilion


Architecture Students Design, Build Pavilion

College of DuPage Architecture students have added their touch to the renovated campus by providing an outdoor gathering pavilion.

As part of the summer Architecture 2840 Design Build class, 16 students enrolled in the course designed, built and installed the temporary pavilion just south of the Technical Education Center. The wooden structure consists of five bays that form a unique and inviting space on the west side of campus. Click here for photos and click here for a video.

The project was funded by a $15,000 grant through the College Foundation’s Resource for Excellence program.

“I wanted to see what would happen in a design studio class when students needed to build what they designed,” said Mark Pearson, Associate Professor of Architecture, who chronicled the project on his blog. “It’s a valuable educational tool to simulate a real-world activity with a real-life project that includes a site and a budget.”

Pearson said one challenge was to include all of the students in the final design rather than selecting just one student’s submission. He broke the students into teams, which created 12 different schemes. From there, the class looked at similarities and designed five schemes in greater detail. Finally, all of the students debated the pros and cons and selected one design.

“I tried to get the students to think about the poetics of design and the details of construction and how both reinforce each other,” Pearson said.

Student Francois El-Bittar of Oakbrook Terrace said it was crucial to create something that perfectly fit into the selected site.

“It was important to create something that would be entertaining and eye-catching,” he said. “We wanted to frame the views, especially the lake and the fountain.”

Once the design was finalized, the students conducted a presentation for DuPage County officials. Even though a building permit wasn’t needed, Pearson felt the presentation added to the classroom experience.

The students then constructed the pavilion in the TEC. Click here to watch a time lapse of the construction. After College of DuPage President Dr. Robert L. Breuder gave his approval, the students installed the pavilion.

“Normally, architecture students are most heavily involved in the design aspects of a project,” Pearson said. “Here we added that layer of construction, which added to the depth of the course.”

Although the gathering pavilion is expected to stay in place through the fall months, the strong positive response may extend this into next spring, Pearson said.

El-Bittar, who is transferring to IIT to study architecture, said the class was both fun and interactive. Student Kevin Smith of Winfield, who plans to transfer to the University of Illinois, said the course was an invaluable learning tool.

“It really helped me grow as a designer,” he said. “It was one of the best experiences I’ve had at College of DuPage.” -- Summer 2014

Architecture award

First COD Student to Receive ALA Recognition

Julia Suriano is the first College of DuPage student to receive a Student Merit Award from the Association of Licensed Architects (ALA).

Suriano earned her Pre-Architecture Associate in Applied Science degree in 2014. She was accepted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received a presidential scholarship from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she will attend in the fall.

Suriano (above, third from left) receives her ALA plaque from COD architecture faculty Ted Kulinski, Jane Ostergaard and Mark Pearson. -- Summer 2014

Four COD Students Accepted at UIUC

Four Architecture students from College of DuPage have been accepted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Julia Suriano, Ignazio Calabria, Kevin Zeng and Adam Souhrada.

"The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the top architecture schools in the country, so having four of our students gain acceptance is a reflection upon the skills they developed in our program," said Jane Ostergaard, Professor of Architecture and program coordinator. "We wish them the best of luck and look forward to hearing about their future successes." -- Spring 2014

Construction Management Program Receives ACCE Accreditation

The Construction Management program at College of DuPage has received accreditation from the American Council for Construction Education.

The program is the 12th associate’s program in the country and the second in Illinois to receive this designation, said Jane Ostergaard, COD Professor and Program Coordinator.

“This is a reflection on our degree of professionalism,” she said. “The extensive review process consisted of detailed reporting and four-day site visit that included interviews with students and faculty.”

The Construction Management associate’s degree prepares students to work in construction management firms or as office personnel for construction companies. Students can also transfer into a baccalaureate program. Last fall, COD and Purdue announced a 2+2 articulation agreement for COD students to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management and Engineering Technologies from Purdue’s Calumet Campus. COD also has a long-standing transfer agreement with Illinois State University.

Ostergaard said the five-year accreditation should facilitate transfer opportunities into accredited baccalaureate programs that include Purdue, ISU, Bradley, Indiana and Ball State.

“We’re really excited to have this accreditation,” Ostergaard said. “Construction management is a field that is relatively new within the academic environment, so it’s important on an associate’s degree level to distinguish a construction management program from a construction trade program. We’ve established a strong Construction Management program and the accreditation validates our efforts.” -- Spring 2013

COD Students Selected for Prestigious U of I 'Versailles' Program

Each year, the University of Illinois Architecture Program selects approximately 40 students to travel to Versailles, France, to study architecture for a full academic year before returning to the Champaign campus to finish their degrees. This year, five students chosen for this prestigious program are from College of DuPage.

Students Jairo Ortega, 21, of Plainfield; Phil Svetich, 20, of Downers Grove; Khushboo Shah, 20, Naperville; and Jeff Nemcher, 39, of Aurora, are recent graduates of the College of DuPage Architecture transfer program. Fellow traveler, James Lenahan, Glen Ellyn, attended COD for one year before transferring to University of Illinois as a sophomore.

Watch a video of students discussing this opportunity.

"Architects have a centuries' long tradition of traveling the world to study architecture," said David M. Chasco, director of the University of Illinois Architecture program. "The students who participate in our Versailles program are a select group of intellectually accomplished individuals. This is a rigorous program for those who want to challenge themselves intellectually in a foreign environment – it's an experience that students will take with them throughout their educational and professional careers."

The University of Illinois Versailles Program is the second-oldest study abroad experience in the country and is one of the few international programs that lasts for a full nine months.

"Our students mature tremendously over the course of this program," Chasco said. "They complete the same courses as junior-year Architecture students in Champaign; however, they are also thrust into the French culture and have the opportunity to experience other cultures in the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe during travel breaks interspersed throughout the curriculum."

College of DuPage students Nemcher, Ortega, Svetich and Shah said they are "more than ready" to begin their travels due to the skills they acquired at COD  "I would definitely recommend College of DuPage to students who are considering studying architecture," Ortega said. "We designed a small multi-purpose building in Chicago during our second year, which is something that doesn't usually happen in other programs until much later."

Nemcher said the COD Architecture transfer program fully prepares students for junior standing at a four-year institution. "Anyone who completes the COD program is not going to have to take extra classes once they get to a four-year school," Nemcher said. "The curriculum here has really prepared us to go to Versailles and study on the same level as the students who have been at U of I for two years already."

Founded in 1867, the U of I School of Architecture has been regarded as one of the nation's leading institutions in architectural education. According to coordinator Jane Ostergaard, full-time Architecture professor Mark Pearson is a graduate of the Versailles program, as are half a dozen of the College's adjunct faculty.

"This is yet another example of the superior value we offer at College of DuPage," said Jane Ostergaard, who noted that the program will host an informational meeting about the Versailles program in October for others who may be interested. "These students have been able to seamlessly articulate into one of the country's finest architectural programs. We are a desirable but affordable alternative for the first two years of a student's education." -- Spring 2012

DuPage Habitat for Humanity, ComEd and College of DuPage Partner to Help Consumers Go Green, Save Green

DuPage Habitat for Humanity, ComEd, and College of DuPage announced a green partnership in the development of a $3 million Habitat for Humanity residential subdivision in DuPage County. The new homes, built in the Pioneer Prairie neighborhood of suburban West Chicago, will allow 11 limited-income families to purchase attainable, sustainable homes.

Watch a video about the project.

ComEd is playing a central role in providing energy efficiency expertise for construction of the homes of Pioneer Prairie and the working families who will occupy them. Through an innovative new class called Sustainable Design Initiative taught at College of DuPage, architecture and construction management students worked alongside industry professionals and technical experts, like the ComEd Energy Doctor, to evaluate green building strategies for the 11 Habitat homes; and for DuPage Habitat for Humanity in the long-term.

"ComEd is committed to helping all our customers become smart energy consumers, especially in the current economic climate. That's why we're suggesting simple steps our customers can take to shrink their carbon footprints – and their energy costs," said Anne Pramaggiore, executive vice president of Customer Operations, Regulatory, and External Affairs, ComEd. "This creative collaboration allows ComEd to expand our energy efficiency education efforts by providing technical expertise to DuPage Habitat for Humanity and the students of Sustainable Design Initiative."

At the semester's conclusion, the students of Sustainable Design Initiative presented a plan to DuPage Habitat for Humanity detailing money-saving green solutions available to all homeowners and home developers. The plan offered a complete cost-benefit analysis of energy efficiency recommendations for home construction, recycling, and landscaping.

Later in 2009, DuPage Habitat for Humanity, ComEd, and College of DuPage plan to publicize the students' findings through a series of free community events designed to inform area residents of low- and no-cost options for managing energy costs and reducing energy usage.

"This has been a great opportunity for our students to see the real-world applications of sustainable design principles," said Jane Ostergaard, Architecture Coordinator, College of DuPage. "Working with Habitat has pushed the students to look carefully at the cost benefits and consequences of the recommendations they are preparing."

In June, DuPage Habitat for Humanity broke ground on Pioneer Prairie, a three-acre residential subdivision of 11 detached, single-family homes. The neighborhood is located at the intersection of Sherman and Pomeroy streets in West Chicago. In addition to the new homes, the development will provide many benefits to local residents and the surrounding community, including new infrastructure, increased home values, and enhanced aesthetic appeal thanks to new sidewalks, parkway trees, streetscapes, and an expanded, revitalized Pioneer Park.

"DuPage Habitat offers families a hand up, not a hand out. Habitat's model for community-centered development of affordable homes offers community benefits, infrastructure improvements and now energy efficiency solutions through partnerships with local families, donors and volunteers that increase the supply of much-needed, sustainable, attainable homes in DuPage County," said Sarah Brachle, executive director of DuPage Habitat for Humanity.

In August, several of the COD architecture students spent a day working on the homes at the Pioneer Prairie job site.

Watch a video of the students working on the homes.

View photos of the students working on the homes.

DuPage Habitat for Humanity builds and sells homes to qualified hard-working, limited-income families. Families must earn sufficient income to pay their 30-year mortgages to DuPage Habitat. In addition, homeowners complete 250 "sweat equity" hours building their own home and their neighbors' homes, and participating in finance, budgeting, and home repair classes. All Habitat homeowners pay local property taxes and utilities.

DuPage Habitat for Humanity has raised $2.5 million in philanthropic, government, and community support for the 11 Pioneer Prairie homes and five scattered-site rehabbed homes. The donors are not only funding the development of 11 new energy-efficient homes, they are creating a 30-year annuity that continues to help fund affordable home construction in DuPage County for years to come. Donors include: ComEd, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Ambitech Engineering, Matrex Exhibits, Tyndale House Publishers, Air-Rite Heating and Cooling, Goldman Sachs, Painters and Allied Trades Union, Mark Fessler, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, and Showalter Roofing.

Supporting the development of Pioneer Prairie contributes to Exelon 2020, the comprehensive corporate strategy of ComEd's parent company, Exelon, to reduce, offset, or displace more than 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year by 2020.

Green Tip Sheet

For the latest news on DuPage Habitat for Humanity and the Pioneer Prairie project


Contact Information

Jane Ostergaard, Coordinator
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1048, (630) 942-2331

David Earl, Program Advisor  
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1047, (630) 942-2538

Peter Deeman, Program Advisor    
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1047, (630) 942-2548

Kim Groesbeck, Program Support Specialist
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1054, (630) 942-2599

Business and Technology Division
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1034, (630) 942-2592