School of Architecture College of Design

Loren Abraham, Adjunct Assistant Professor

Loren Abraham

Adjunct Assistant Professor


Loren Abraham

Areas of Expertise

Renewable Energy and Daylighting in Architecture, Sustainable Building Practices and Standards, Ecological Product Design

Architect, author, industrial designer, educator and researcher, Loren Abraham has over 30 years of experience in the building and construction industry. He is an acknowledged leader in the design and construction of ecologically sound, healthier, more energy and resource efficient buildings.  He has developed and patented advanced window and daylighting systems, engineered ecological materials and intelligent manufacturing systems and promulgated current “green” building standards and guidelines.  He has passionately supported widespread education about energy and environmental issues as well as the intelligent use of our limited natural resources. Loren was a founding member of the US Green Building Council, past chairman of the Sustainable Buildings Industries Council, and he has worked with the White House, the AIA, The American Society of Testing and Materials, the Department of Energy and other federal agencies as well as numerous major building products manufacturers and leading Design firms such as William McDonough + Partners and Cesar Pelli Associates. His work has received numerous awards and has been Headline in such publications as American Libraries, Architecture, Architectural Record, Business Week, Corporate Report, Interiors, Library Journal, Metropolis, and the Wall Street Journal.

Professional Credentials

  • Licensed Architect - MN registration no. 20882
  • Certification as LEED Accredited Professional by the US Green Building Council
  • Certification as Industrial Designer, Industrial Designers Society of America
  • Certified Value Analysis/Value Engineering Professional


  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Minnesota, BA Architecture/Landscape Architecture, graduation with distinction 1977
  • Southeast Area Technical College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Architectural Technology, 1972

Academic Experience

  • University of Minnesota, Architecture School, Assistant Adjunct Professor, 2005-present
  • Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) Training Seminar Instructor, 1997-98
  • University of Virginia, College of Architecture Guest Lecturer, Curriculum Development, 1995-96
  • Passive Solar Industries Council, Passive Solar Design Seminar Instructor 1994-96

Partial list of Patents

  • Daylight Collection and Distribution System, Nov. 21, 1995, Patent No. 5,467,564
  • Skylight, Nov. 21, 1995, Design Patent No. Des. 364,469
  • Integrated Method for Selecting, Ordering and Manufacturing Window Panels (Software), No. 195,257
  • Rule Based Parametric Design Apparatus and Method, February 11, 1994 (Software) No. 195,258

Recent Publications

Reimagining the relationship between Human Beings and their Environment, The Hennepin County Brookdale Regional Center, Daybreak Press, 2004

Living Spaces, Ecological Building and Design, Könnemann Verlagsgeschellschaft, Frankfurt, 1999. Ca-author, Translator

Whole Buildings Design Guide, On-line Resource, PSIC and NavFac, 1998 Designer/Contributor see

Sustainable Building Technical Manual - Green Building Design, Construction and Operations, PTI. , U.S. GBC and U.S. DOE, 1996, Author and Reviewing Editor

The William McDonough Collection: Environmentally Intelligent Textiles, DesignTex, May 1995, Editor

Greening Of the White House  Interactive Guide  CD ROM ,  AIA, CREST, 1995, Contributor

Resources and Tools for Environmentally Smart Building Design and Construction, ERG, USGBC, 1994

Energy Design Tools - Needs Assessment and Strategic Planning U.S.DOE, AIA/ACAS, August 1994

Greening Of the White House - Phase II Action Plan, National Parks Service, AIA, 1995, Co-author

Greening of the White House - Phase I Action Plan, National Parks Service, AIA, 1994, Co-author

Partial list of Honors and Awards

  • Heart of the Community Award 2006, Libraries We Love, Berkshire Publishing Hennepin County Brookdale Resource Library, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
  • NACo 2005 Achievement Award, National Association of Counties Hennepin County Brookdale Resource Library, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
  • Heritage Preservation Award 200, Hastings Heritage Preservation Commission River of Life Church Renovation and Addition, Hastings Minnesota
  • Excellence in Concrete and Masonry Design Award 2005, Minnesota Concrete and Masonry Contractors Association Hennepin County Brookdale Regional Center Expansion & remodeling
  • Top 25 Most Innovative Architects 2003, Glass Magazine
  • Business Week/Architectural Record Award 1998 Gap Inc. Office Building  901 Cherry, San Bruno, CA
  • Top Ten Environmental Buildings, AIA Committee on the Environment, 1997 Herman Miller SQA Building, Zeeland, MI
  • Honor Award 1998, Central Virginia American institute of Architects Herman Miller SQA Building, Zeeland, MI
  • Business Week/Architectural Record Award 1997 Herman Miller SQA Building, Zeeland, MI

Recent Publication Appearances

  • Heart of the Community, Libraries We Love, Berkshire Publishing, 2006
  • American Library, Brookdale Resource Library, May, 2005, New Library Showcase
  • Library Journal, Brookdale Resource Library, February, 2005
  • Glass Magazine, April 2003, Top 25 Innovative Architects
  • Business Week, November 2, 1998 - Business Week/Architectural Record Award - Best Work Environments
  • Architectural Record, 10.1998: Second Annual Business Week/Architectural Record Awards
  • Business Week,  November 3, 1997: Business Week/Architectural Record Awards - Best Work Environments
  • Architectural Record, 10.1997: 1st Annual Business Week/Architectural Record Awards
  • Metropolis, April 1994: Article by Andrea Moed, Capturing Sunlight
  • The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 1995: Marketplace - If Sun Shines In… By  John Pearson

Partial List of Public Appearances and Roundtables

  • Mar. 4, 2005: Minneapolis Central Library Green roof, Twin Cities Green Roof Council, Greenroof, Minneapolis, MN
  • Sep. 22, 2004: Sustainable Architecture – Energy & Environmental Choices, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
  • Sep. 21, 2004: Sustainable Architecture, Minnesota Public Radio Midmorning Program, Sustainable Architecture Live Interview
  • August 9, 2004: 901 Cherry – Gap Offices Green Roof Case Study, Twin Cities Green Roof Council, Greenroof, Minneapolis, MN
  • May 15, 1996: Solar ‘96 - Conference of the American Solar Energy Society, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Nov. 8, 1994: Forum Discussion on Sustainably Harvested  Wood Products – Moderator, American Institute Of Architects Minnesota Annual Convention, Minneapolis, MN
  • March 8-9, 1994: Department Of Energy and AIA/ACSA Research Council, Washington, D.C.
  • Oct. 16, 1993: International Expert Roundtable on Life Cycle Assessment, Washington, D.C.
  • Sep. 25, 1993: Drivers of Change in Building Products Industry, BETEC Annual Energy Technology Conference, Washington, D.C.
  • Sep. 24-25, 1993: Market Trends in Sustainably Harvested Wood, 1st Annual Conference, Trade in Sustainably Harvested Wood, Washington, D.C.
  • July 13-14, 1993: Energy Design Tools Steering Group Roundtable, Department of Energy and AIA Research Council, Washington, D.C.
  • June 30 , 1993: Ecological Product Development Successes, 1993 Earth Summit Awards Toward Global Sustainability, United Nations, New York
  • June , 1992: Energy Design Tools, 1992 Annual AIA Convention & World Congress of Architects Meeting, Chicago, IL

Professional Experience (1984-Present)

  • Abraham + Associates Architects and Daybreak Technology, LLC, Hastings, MN and Charlottesville, VA, Principal Architect
  • William McDonough + Partners, Charlottesville, VA, Architect, Director of research
  • Andersen Window Corporation, Bayport, MN, Advanced Research Manager

Other Professional Experience (1977-1984)

  • Architect with: KKE Architects, Minneapolis Minnesota;
  • RSP Architects, Minneapolis Minnesota;
  • David Todd Runyan & Associates, St. Paul, Minnesota, Architect;
  • Buetow & Associates, Inc., St. Paul, Minnesota;
  • Drake & Sessing Architects, Saint Paul, Minnesota;
  • Koch Hazard Associates, Architects, Sioux Falls, SD

Professional Affiliations and Public Service

  • Member Sustainable Buildings Industries Council (SBIC), Chairman 1993-94, Board of Directors, 1992-1999
  • Member American Institute of Architects (AIA) 1980-81, 1990-present,
  • AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE), 1991-present (Scientific Advisory Committee 1992-93)
  • Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), 1988-1994
  • American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) E51 Green Buildings Guidelines Committee and Life Cycle Assessment Committee, 1990-1995
  • Association of Safe and Accessible Products (ASAP) Board of Directors, 1992-1994
  • US Green Building Council Founding Member, 1992, Board Member, 1992-1994
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