A variety of research questions follow from the design goals for the Adam Joseph Lewis Center outlined under “Design philosophy”.

For example:

  • Feedback: Is feedback control effectively incorporated into biological and mechanical systems within the facility in order to optimize performance? Is feedback displayed effectively in human-technological interfaces so that occupants and visitors are made conscious of and can respond to patterns of energy and material use?

  • Energy: How does the pattern and magnitude of energy use compare with other buildings? To what extent is the AJLC powered by solar energy? What changes are taking place that might alter future performance? 

  • Biodiversity: Do the landscape and building technologies foster biodiversity? Are the ecological and mechanical systems diverse in function as well as in structure?

  • Materials: How were materials used in the construction of the AJLC? What effect do these materials have on local, regional and global ecosystems? Is the degree of internal recycling within this building-landscape system changing over time? 

  • Impact: Does the AJLC maximize opportunities for students, for faculty and staff, and for local, regional and global scale communities to learn about ecological design? Does it serve as a laboratory that allows us to evaluate and improve the practice of ecological design?

  • Community: How does the AJLC support the mission of Oberlin College and the surrounding community? Has it served as a catalyst that stimulates thought and action which addresses the relationship between human society and the rest of the natural world?