Assistant Professor
Department of Architecture

Research Expertise and Interest

next-generation building systems, self-regulated facades, biologically inspired technologies, multifunctional materials


Paz Gutierrez is an architect and researcher focused on establishing radically new sustainable building technologies and urban infrastructures. In 2008, she founded BIOMS, an interdisciplinary research group at UC Berkeley. BIOMS’s research intersects architecture, engineering, and science to develop technologies that can shift the means of how energy and water can be provided, as well as how waste is processed in regions under extreme resource pressures.

Through the pioneering integration of microengineering principles for building technologies, her interdisciplinary research is developing building systems that can generate energy, regenerate material resources, and selectively control thermal and light transmission. Her research emphasizes an integrative resourcing of energy, water, and waste accomplished by highly sensitive building technologies. The closed-loop capabilities of these systems are based on integrated material multifunctionality that enables self-regulation through selective responses to diverse climatic, energy, water, and waste requirements.

Gutierrez is a recipient of the prestigious 2010 Emerging Frontiers of Research Innovation (sustainable energy) grant by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Professor Gutierrez is one of the five U.S. Scholars selected for the first cohort of the 2011 Fulbright NEXUS Scholar Award for applied research. She was recently appointed by the US Department of State as a Senior Fellow for the ECPA (Energy and Climate Panel of the Americas).

In Research News

April 25, 2011

María-Paz Gutierrez, a University of California, Berkeley, assistant professor of architecture, has been named to the 2011-2012 Fulbright Regional Network for Applied Research (NEXUS) Scholar Program as part of a 20-member team working to promote best practices in fighting poverty and inequality in the Western Hemisphere. She will be focusing on building a sustainable, affordable housing prototype for deployment in an emergency, especially flooding.

August 26, 2010

A UC Berkeley team has been awarded a $2 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for research on biologically-inspired technologies for grey water reuse and thermal energy management that may propel sustainable building into a new era.The grant comes from the NSF’s Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation’s 2010 Science in Energy and Environmental Design program for engineering sustainable buildings. Leading UC Berkeley’s award-winning research team as principal investigator is Maria Paz-Gutierrez, assistant professor of architecture in the College of Environmental Design, and the only architect serving as principal investigator for any of the NSF’s eight EFRI-SEED grants this year.

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