Shane Hess O'Neil collective works c. 2006 – 2014

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(In progress since Aug. 2013, Master of Science Thesis, University of Oregon School of Architecture & Allied Arts)

The importance of individual lighting use behaviors in regards to energy efficiency and environmental quality is overwhelmingly highlighted in the literature, but architects have few tools in their repertoire to grapple with these facts. This thesis investigates the relationship between the spatial and lighting environments and the behaviors that individuals exhibit within them. The intent of this study is to demonstrate effective means to evaluate the impact of spatial and lighting design on lighting use behaviors and to provide actionable guidelines for the design of daylit workspace environments.

The main questions guiding this research are: what spatial, environmental, and social cues influence individual lighting use behaviors? How does the design of the daylit workspace environment reinforce high electric lighting use or support low electric lighting use?

A multiple-research methods approach will be used to triangulate the relationships between social, environmental, and spatial factors and characterize their influence on actual lighting use behaviors. The full thesis study will include multiple detailed studies, conducted in parallel, of the electric lighting use behaviors of individuals within daylit, perimeter offices in a LEED certified office building in the Pacific Northwest.



Short Table Side w Toddler_DSCF2063HIGH-DESIGN, LOW-COST: Furniture for a Growing Family

(In progress since April 2013, Designer and Fabricator, for various private clients, Oregon)

A young, growing family has few options when it comes to well-designed and well-crafted furniture on a budget. Recalling mid-century modern forms and details, these pieces are an attempt to leverage a limited material palette and shoestring budget to create lasting furniture – both aesthetically and functionally.

This collection will continue to grow as new commissions and new ideas arrive.




BUILD-OUT: 1940s Bungalow Addition & Remodel

(Apr. 2012, Designer, private residence, Springfield, OR)

Confronted with the demands of a growing family, the upper level of this bungalow required a serious re-evaluation. Previously a cramped, dark attic renovation including 2 bedrooms and 1/2 bath under the original gable the upper level stood to transform into a hub of household activity where parents and kids are able to be together when they want to and maintain privacy when they want it. The small footprint of the house suggested a tightly knit arrangement of spaces with ample light, views, and a sense of openness at the top of the stairs. The spatial layout and massing supports stack-assisted night flush cooling as well as passive solar heating.

The project scope included a new master bedroom suite with walk-in closet, new full bathroom, new built-in work area in each existing bedroom, and redesigned stair hall that is the connective tissue for the upper level.

400 square feet of renovations + 500 square feet of new floor space



SCY-Salem-High-Performance-Housing-report-2011_Page_01HIGH-PERFORMANCE, HIGH-DENSITY, HIGH-AMBITION: Housing for the Salem Housing Authority

(Aug. 2011, Technical Report for the City of Salem, University of Oregon School of Architecture & Sustainable Cities Initiative)

Advanced architectural studio’s design recommendations and proposals for the City of Salem’s Housing Authority (SHA). Establishes the analytical and conceptual framework that underlies that studio’s approach to the design of housing, centered on the creation of real value in low-income housing through resilient building design, passive design strategies, high-performance building, and integrating local food-production networks into low-income housing.

For the SHA, the recommendations in this report could result in housing that lasts longer, performs better, costs less to operate, costs less to live in, and instill confidence in its residents. The SHA has an opportunity to create sites that are safer to live on, provide more housing opportunities, make better use of open spaces, create pedestrian and child friendly environments, and support the goals of the City of Salem to accommodate a growing population using existing residential land.





ATTUNED LIVING: Responsive Public Housing for the City of Salem

(Jun. 2011, University of Oregon School of Architecture Terminal Project, in concert with the Sustainable Cities Initiative & the Salem Housing Authority, Eugene, OR)

Housing must be able to withstand a number of key forces both physical and metaphysical. Responsive design works in acknowledgement of this fact to improve the resiliency and sustainability of the structure and ensure the longevity of the place. Public housing in America is ripe for a radical shift towards responsive design. Long-term ownership and low-interest publicly-backed financing provides the unique opportunity to integrate high-performance building and time-based design in pursuit of a responsive public housing stock.

This proposal seeks to elucidate a responsive multi-family Passivhaus prototype implementable at multiple scales of density and development throughout the Pacific Northwest. In addition, a 5 acre redevelopment proposal for the Salem Housing Authority seeks to establish a framework for integrating urban restoration and ecological design into public housing.



THiNKERSMITH: Conceptual Design & Programming

(Apr. 2011, Sustainable Design Consultant, Eugene, OR)

THINKERSMiTH is a non-profit organization engendering digital empowerment and providing educational opportunities to the masses of Eugene. They focus on teaching computational and design thinking in a way that reinforces the fact that technology is about the user, not the device. This compels a design response that integrates the process of design into the resulting space and uses the space as teaching tool.

Striving to make this effort holistic, we’re pursuing a bold, radical environmental and design agenda. Beyond LEED – toward Net-Zero energy. Perhaps more importantly, the goal is occupant comfort through ground-up, participatory sustainable design.

We envision THINKERSMiTH as a beacon of community sustainability, energy efficiency, and exemplar of design that elevates the pursuits of the individuals it serves. 





(Dec. 2010, Analytical Report, University of Oregon School of Architecture)

Investigates national residential green building certification programs, namely Energy Star, LEED for Homes, and the Passivhaus Standard. Examines the impact of green building certification on design, both in conception and execution, and propose structural changes to the programs. Evaluates the relationship of the program to the carbon footprint of housing, specifically through energy-efficiency, development pattern, and transportation energy in a representative sample of case study homes.







NEIGHBORHOOD RECLAIMATION: Post-Industrial Mixed-Use Development

(Jun. 2010, University of Oregon School of Architecture, Eugene, OR)

This project was undertaken with the goal of regenerative design at the site scale, the building scale, and the human scale. A former industrial site wedged between low-density single family neighborhoods and high-traffic sprawling commercial, this project engages the potential for a new development to revitalize an existing and otherwise stagnant locale.

The master plan maintains the integrity of the existing natural features while creating a livable and walk-able environment seamlessly integrated with the surrounding neighborhood. Medium to high density housing options support anchor commercial and neighborhood commercial spaces (and vice-versa) to provide a vibrant urban setting elegantly framed by preserved wetlands and restored watershed. The buildings and homes are designed to reduce energy and water consumption through passive design, maximize comfort with district-scale geothermal heating and cooling, and integrate biophilic design with a robust relationship between the built and natural environments.



SYSTEMS THINKING: Retrofit & Revitalization of a Sprawling Portland Elementary School

(Dec. 2009, University of Oregon School of Architecture, in concert with Portland Public Schools; Eugene, OR)

This project investigated the integration of new pedagogical thinking into existing public school infrastructure. Working with Portland Public Schools to provide sustainable retrofit ideas and alternative design proposals for existing school typologies in Portland, this proposal incorporates into a historically K-5 school a new wing to accommodate the addition of grades 6-8.

Integrating evidence-based sustainable practices into an architecture that provides opportunities for different pedagogical thinking precipitated the design of a learning courtyard that allows the classroom to move outdoors and also acts as a large-scale stormwater mitigation facility and educational tool.

The schematic design phase was followed by a passive systems audit, providing a rigorous evidence-based assessment of the passive solar heating, natural ventilation, daylighting, and climatic response systems.



EXPERIMENTAL REJUVENATION: Infill Rowhousing for Downtown St. Louis

(Mar. 2009, University of Oregon School of Architecture, Eugene, OR)

Capitalizing on the historic role of rowhousing as a dense, energy efficient, and versatile housing stock, the unit design focused on constructibility and flexibility. The unit is organized to provide dynamic spaces that work together to support high-density family living and is parsed into front and back, allowing for the insertion of commercial spaces and smaller rental units. The accessible garage off the alley is designed for easy retrofit into an accessory dwelling unit. The impetus for this design strategy arises from the inadequacy of the former housing stock to handle changing demographics and economics, evident in the pervasiveness of “brick rustling” within downtown St. Louis.

Passive solar heating and natural ventilation strategies allow for reduced energy consumption and increased occupant comfort. The dynamic street facade provides seasonal shading, vertical garden space, privacy, and security. Structural systems are articulated on the interior, providing a rich character of place and reducing material and labor costs. Exposed concrete party walls and shear walls provide acoustical separation within and between units, as well as thermal mass to aid passive solar heating.