Julee Herdt is an award-winning architect, Professor of Architecture, and researcher at the University of Colorado. At CU and in private practice, Julee works as a pioneer in development and application of biobased, low-embodied-energy building materials from waste fibers.
Her “BioSIPs” inventions demonstrate repurposed cellulose of all types converted into low-carbon, high performance construction products for a healthier environment and improved human health. Julee was the Architecture Faculty Lead on both of CU’s back-to-back, first place, award-winning Solar Decathlon projects. In these international competitions, Julee and student teams took first-place titles by proving on a world stage that innovative biobased construction, powered using renewable energy systems can not only compete with, but can outperform standard, more carbon-intensive methods.
At the University of Colorado, BioSIPs have resulted in the first-ever patents for the College of Architecture and Planning, and the third and fourth-ever patents for CU’s Denver campus. BioSIPs inventions have garnered a State of Colorado, US Green Building Council (USGBC) “New Products” award, an “Excellence in Renewable Energy in Buildings” award, as well as numerous other recognitions.
Julee’s peer-reviewed research has been published by the International Solar Energy Society, the American Solar Energy Society, Oxford Academic Press, and others. Using building science metrics for comparative analysis, Julee’s first residential prototype called “The Farmhouse, in which she employed a comprehensive array of U.S. Department of Agriculture-sponsored biobased materials including her own inventions, was compared to a similar scale standard stick frame construction. Results showed the Farmhouse to exhibit a 40% reduced embodied energy footprint, and 70% reduced energy-in-operation. See “The application of ecosystems services criteria for green building assessment”, Olgay and Herdt, Elsevier. Julee continues on-going biofiber building material R&D with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Products Laboratory. In an upcoming residential case study that she’s developing for her site in Boulder, Julee will seek to demonstrate even greater embodied energy and energy-in-use improvements, by applying new generation BioSIPs inventions for steel container home design.
Julee’s company, BioSIPs, Inc, is a woman-owned tech-based corporation and CU’s first architecture spin-off company. Major funding for her work has been through the US Department of Agriculture, the US Department of Energy, the State of Colorado, CU, and through private investments.
As a licensed architect, Julee has worked throughout the U.S. and abroad with architecture firms including Morphosis, Los Angeles; Coop Himmelblau, Vienna; and Frank O. Gehry, Santa Monica.
Julee received her M.Arch from SCI-Arc, Southern California Institute of Architecture, where she received a “Best Graduate Thesis Project” award. She received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Tennessee with honors, and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Western Kentucky University.