Julee Herdt and Honey Bea

Julee Herdt

  • College of Architecture and Planning

Email Address:julee.herdt@ucdenver.edu

Primary Phone:303-556-4097


Julee Herdt is an award-winning architect, Professor of Architecture, founder and CEO of BioSIPs, Inc, a clean-tech corporation and CU’s first-ever spin-off company from the College of Architecture & Planning. She’s an inventor and pioneer in the development, patenting, application, and commercialization of biobased, lowest carbon, petroleum-alternative structural building materials and technologies using 100% waste cellulose. 

Julee holds the first-ever patents at CU’s College of Architecture and Planning; third- and fourth-ever in CU Denver history. Her “BioSIPs” environmental building materials and renewable energy architecture projects have received multiple awards and recognitions including a coveted State of Colorado, US Green Building Council “Product of the Year” award.  Julee was Architecture Faculty Lead on both of CU’s back-to-back, first place, internationally award-winning Solar Decathlon competitions. 

Her work has been funded by: The US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Energy, US Department of Defense, the State of Colorado, CU, private investment, and others.  Her peer-reviewed biobased material science and architecture is published with the International Solar Energy Society, Oxford University Press/Low Carbon Journal, Elsevier and others. Additional publications can be found on her Research Gate page.

Julee is currently Principal Investigator on a $250K US Department of Defense, Army grant entitled: “BioSIPs®: Transforming Wastepaper and Biofibers into Carbon Negative Building Materials.”  The work advances bio-mass waste fiber, BioSIPs building materials and components (patented by Herdt) as carbon-disruptive disruptive materials to help the Army reach a 30% reduction in overall carbon/climate footprint to meet DoD, Climate Adaptation Plan and Army Climate Strategies. 

The grant establishes a CU, cross-campus collaboration between the National Renewable Energy Lab, the College of Architecture and Planning, the College of Engineering, Design, and Computing, and the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Products Laboratory.  

Julee has worked throughout the U.S. and abroad and with firms including Morphosis Architects, Coop Himmelblau, Frank O. Gehry, and on SCI-Arc’s Venice Biennale competition project as a USDA technical reviewer of low carbon building materials+ more. BioSIPs are cited in U.S. Congressional reports.

Areas of Expertise

  • Award-winning renewable energy building constructions in modular, factory-produced design, in private practice and with students.
  • Invention, application, testing, and commercialization of biobased building materials from 100% waste fibers, and the integration of these with solar + renewable energy technologies.
  • Patenting of biobased building materials in private practice, at CU, and in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Products Laboratory.
  • Founding of BioSIPs, Inc. a Colorado-based clean-tech corporation and woman-owned tech-based start-up. 
  • Principal Investigator on multiple grants including: “State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Health and Environment, recycling grant for BioSIPs development. CU-U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Products Laboratory, Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) and others.


On the left, two students construct the Solar Decathlon home, and on the right are two first-prize awards for the Solar Decathlon.

Left: Internationally-awarded, peer-reviewed, renewable energy buildings from Julee Herdt’s patented low-carbon inventions plus their application + testing, with CU students and in private practice.
Right: Department of Energy, Solar Decathlon, back-to-back first place wins plus multiple additional awards. Julee Herdt, Architecture Faculty Lead.

BioSIP building material in the form of cardboard bricks.

A range of BioSIPs panels from 100% waste for application in building construction, furniture, interior walls and other applications.

BioSIPs waste fiber prototypes.

BioSIPs 100% waste fiber prototypes as carbon negative alternatives to concrete, steel, and wood products.

Stacks of the BioSIPs non-toxic waste prototypes for building panels.BioSIPs 100% renewable, recyclable, and repulpable, structural building panel inventions and building component prototypes from waste and with no toxic additives, resins, or binders.  

Methods and procedures for MycroBioSIPs on the left and mushrooms on the right.

Patented, “MycoBioSIPs” a 100% bio-renewable, ultra-low carbon, structural insulated panel with programmed bio-degradability for earth remediation at end of use. Shown at left, Professor Herdt’s research students’ award-winning MycoBioSIPs presentation excerpt. The project won a Denver, campus-wide design, engineering, and technology award.


On the left is a demonstration of how BioSIPs work and on the right are students installing a BioSIP.


Students full-scale testing BioSIPs structural insulated panels using ASTM E72 standards and protocols at CU’s Rapid Prototyping Lab, College of Engineering and Applied Science. BioSIPs patented and integrated 3D core, skin, and insulation system outperformed standard SIP products in critical construction areas of axial- and transverse-loading. This makes it a superior product for high-seismic-, wind-, and other dynamic load situations.




BioSIPs Patents



Left: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office patent number 9,740,799 B2. Professor Julee Herdt’s software patent for design, strength analysis, and material science determinations for designing BioSIPs, structurally load-bearing building enclosures, and other products, using her high-density “eco-fiberboard” planar construction boards.  Co-patented with the USDA Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) and included in the University of Colorado’s and USDA FPL’s patent portfolios.  

Right U.S. Patent and Trademark Office patent number 9,010,054 B2. BioSIPs, Structural Building Panels. Methods and apparatus for design of Julee Herdt’s BioSIPs, low carbon structural insulated patents from 100% waste fibers. Owned by BioSIPs, Inc., Julee Herdt’s woman-owned, clean-tech corporation.


Education, Licensure & Certifications


  • MArch, Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Los Angeles, California (1989) 
    “Best Graduate Thesis Award” Thesis Advisor, Wolf Prix, Partner, Coop Himmelblau, Vienna + Los Angeles. 
  • BArch, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee (1980)
    Awarded “Chancellor's Citation for Extraordinary Professional Promise” Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society.
  • Pre-architecture, engineering and science, University of Louisville, Speed School of Engineering, (1976-77)
  • BS in Industrial Technology, Western Kentucky University (1975) 
    with minor in Interior Design 




  • International Solar Decathlon Competition
    • First Place “Overall Winner” 
    • First Place, "Communications Event Winner"
    • First Place “Documentations Event Winner” with Special Recognition for  excellence in Website, Branding, and Competition Publications”
    • First Place “Getting Around”
    • “Best Green Design”  BP Solar Award
    • “Best Home Construction”  Do It Yourself Network Award
    • “Energy Efficiency in Design Award, Second Place”  Home Builders Association, HBA
  •  International Solar Decathlon Competition
    • First Place “Overall Winner” 
    • First Place “Website Event Winner” 
    • “People’s Choice Award, Second Place”
  • “US Green Building Council, USGBC, Colorado Public Interest Design Award”, through nomination. “In recognition of experimentation and commitment to visionary environmental and health-related impacts with projected economic impacts.”   
  • Technology, Engineering, and Math campus-wide award: “MycoBioSIPs, Mushroom + Paper + Plants, The making of BioRenewable Construction panels for Healthier People, Environment, and Planet” w/ CU research students
  • “Environmental Leadership Award” and “Colorado Green Leader", State of Colorado, and with EPA nomination.
  • “National Faculty Design Award”   American Collegiate Schools of Architecture.
  • AIA Latrobe Prize finalist for the AIA’s highest research prize competition.
  • “Outstanding Faculty Member Recognition”, American Institute of Architects, CU Student  Chapter, AIAS.
  • "Mentor of the Year Award”.  American Institute of Architects, Colorado North.
  • “Educator of the Year Award”.    Masonic Lodges of Colorado.
  • Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Award, University of Colorado


  • “CU Campus Environmental Award” for CU Solar Decathlon project  
  • "ReWard for Environmental Leadership.”  Colleges of architecture and engineering for 2005 Solar Decathlon win. Center for Resource Conservation, Boulder
  • “CU Campus Environmental Award.” Solar Decathlon Team Award
  • "Wirth Chair Community Award.” Colleges of architecture and engineering Solar Decathlon win. 


  • President George W. Bush and the U.S. House of Representatives. 
  • U.S. House Committee on Science
  • President George W. Bush and the US House of Representatives. 



  • International Solar Energy Conference and National American Solar Energy Society conference. “An Energy and Material Assessment of the Bio-based Farmhouse. Austin. 
  • Speaker representing the United States Department of Agriculture, Alternative Agricultural Research & Commercialization Corporation at the Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Technical Evaluation Center:  “Biobased Building Materials.”
  • USDA Biobased Building Materials Assessment, Committee Work: “Determining Methods for Evaluating and Comparing Green Building Materials to Standard Materials Counterparts."
  • Speaker. Annual Board of Director's meeting of the United States Department of Agriculture, Alternative Agricultural Research & Commercialization Corporation.  
  • USDA Rural Housing Service: "Methods for using bio-based building materials in housing."
  • National Marketplace for the Environment Conference. Washington, D.C.  Presentation:  "Julee Herdt’s Farmhouse Residence- A Bio-Based Project from USDA Sponsored Agricultural Materials.”
  • Thriving in the Green Building Marketplace Conference.  U.S. Dept of Commerce, American Institute of Architects.  Representative for USDA Alternative Agricultural Research & Commercialization Corporation at bio-based building material conference.  San Diego. 
  • University of Kentucky, Kentucky Tobacco Research association on waste residues in building material fabrication. Presentation:  "Engineered Molded Fiber Technology as a New Use for Tobacco By-Products." 
  • USDA Agricultural Day. Washington, D.C. Video: "New Uses for Agricultural Products." 
  • New England ECO EXPO.  Session Presentation:  "Bio-based Building Materials as Alternatives to Petroleum-Based Products."  Boston. 
  • Boulder Channel 8 Public Television, Greenpoints Program for education of energy and resource efficient everyday living.  Production:  "The Farmhouse Environmental Home."
  • CU Sustainable Energy Forum.  USGBC, Colorado Conference Speaker.
  • International Interior Design Society, Sustainable Design Event, Speaker
  • US Green Building Council, Colorado Chapter.  Educational Program Speaker
  • Environmental Design: Industrialized Agricultural Architecture, IAA & The Farmhouse presented at the ACSA, National Conference Proceedings.


Multiple animal protection and rescue groups, human-rights organizations, and environmental non-profits.

College of Architecture and Planning

CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street


Denver, CO 80202


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