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, and founder/CEO of BioSIPs, Inc, a CU spin-off corporation. She’s an inventor and pioneer in development, application, and commercialization of biobased, petroleum-alternative building materials and technologies.  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 received the State of Colorado, US Green Building Council’s “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, State of Colorado, CU, private investments, and others.  Her biobased material science and architecture is published with the Oxford University Press, Elsevier and others. Julee has worked throughout the U.S. and abroad and with firms including Morphosis, Coop Himmelblau, and Frank O. Gehry.    

Areas of Expertise


  • Development of biobased building materials from waste fibers.  Research, testing, application, and commercialization, and integration of these with recycled materials, and renewable energy systems
  • Patenting of biobased building materials in private practice and at CU in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Founding of BioSIPs, Inc. a Colorado-based clean-tech corporation and woman-owned tech-based corporation based on Herdt’s patented environmental building material invention, “BioSIPs”.  This is CU’s first architecture spin-off company.
  • Principal Investigator: “State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Health and Environment, recycling grant for BioSIPs development
  • Principal Investigator:  Heimbold Foundation “Renewable Energy in Architecture” grant
  • Principal Investigator:  CU-U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Products Laboratory, Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)

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 



  • 2005   “Mentor of the Year Award”.  American Institute of Architects, Colorado North.
  • 2003   “Educator of the Year Award”.    Masonic Lodges of Colorado.
  • 2002   “National Faculty Design Award”   American Collegiate Schools of Architecture.
  • 2005   “Colorado Green Leader",  “CU Emerging Leaders Program”   
  • 2004   “Outstanding Faculty Member Recognition”, American Institute of Architects, CU Student Chapter, AIAS.


  • 2005   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  q Association, HBA
  • 2002   International Solar Decathlon Competition
    • First Place “Overall Winner” 
    • First Place “Website Event Winner” 
    • “People’s Choice Award, Second Place”


    • 2006   “CU Campus Environmental Award” for 2005 CU Solar Decathlon project  
    • 2005   "ReWard for Environmental Leadership.”  Colleges of architecture and engineering for 2005 Solar Decathlon win. Center for Resource Conservation, Boulder
    • 2003   “CU Campus Environmental Award.” Solar Decathlon Team Award
    • 2003   "Wirth Chair Community Award.” Colleges of architecture and engineering for 2005 Solar Decathlon win. 


    • 2006 President George W. Bush and the U.S. House of Representatives.  (I was invited to attend but due to illness invited engineering student, Jeff Lyng to attend in my place.) 2005 CU project presented by Senator Ken Salazar. Entered into Congressional Record in November 2005.
    • 2005 U.S. House Committee on Science
    • 2002 President George W. Bush and the US House of Representatives.  2002 project presented by Congressman Mark Udall and entered into Congressional Record.



    Julee Herdt is an award-winning architect, Professor of Architecture, and researcher at the University of Colorado. At CU and in private practice, Julee works as a pioneer in development and application of biobased, low-embodied-energy building materials from waste fibers.  

    Her “BioSIPs” inventions demonstrate repurposed cellulose of all types converted into low-carbon, high performance construction products for a healthier environment and improved human health.  Julee was the Architecture Faculty Lead on both of CU’s back-to-back, first place, award-winning Solar Decathlon projects. In these international competitions, Julee and student teams took first-place titles by proving on a world stage that innovative biobased construction, powered using renewable energy systems can not only compete with, but can outperform standard, more carbon-intensive methods.  

    At the University of Colorado, BioSIPs have resulted in the first-ever patents for the College of Architecture and Planning, and the third and fourth-ever patents for CU’s Denver campus.  BioSIPs inventions have garnered a State of Colorado, US Green Building Council (USGBC) “New Products” award, an “Excellence in Renewable Energy in Buildings” award, as well as numerous other recognitions.  

    Julee’s peer-reviewed research has been published by the International Solar Energy Society, the American Solar Energy Society, Oxford Academic Press, and others.  Using building science metrics for comparative analysis, Julee’s first residential prototype called “The Farmhouse, in which she employed a comprehensive array of U.S. Department of Agriculture-sponsored biobased materials including her own inventions, was compared to a similar scale standard stick frame construction.  Results showed the Farmhouse to exhibit a 40% reduced embodied energy footprint, and 70% reduced energy-in-operation.  See “The application of ecosystems services criteria for green building assessment”, Olgay and Herdt, Elsevier.  Julee continues on-going biofiber building material R&D with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Products Laboratory.  In an upcoming residential case study that she’s developing for her site in Boulder, Julee will seek to demonstrate even greater embodied energy and energy-in-use improvements, by applying new generation BioSIPs inventions for steel container home design.

    Julee’s company, BioSIPs, Inc, is a woman-owned tech-based corporation and CU’s first architecture spin-off company.  Major funding for her work has been through the US Department of Agriculture, the US Department of Energy, the State of Colorado, CU, and through private investments. 

    As a licensed architect, Julee has worked throughout the U.S. and abroad with architecture firms including Morphosis, Los Angeles; Coop Himmelblau, Vienna; and Frank O. Gehry, Santa Monica.  

    Julee received her M.Arch from SCI-Arc, Southern California Institute of Architecture, where she received a “Best Graduate Thesis Project” award.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Tennessee with honors, and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from Western Kentucky University. 


    • 2000 Representing the United States Department of Agriculture, Alternative Agricultural Research & Commercialization Corporation, Bio-Based Building Material Development: Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Technical Evaluation Center, Building Materials Committee Work: Determining Methods for Evaluating and Comparing Green Building Materials to Standard Building Material Counterparts."
    • 1999   Speaker. United States Department of Agriculture, Alternative Agricultural Research & Commercialization Corporation, Annual Board of Director's meeting.  Denver.  
    • 1998   Rural Housing Service: "Methods for bio-based building materials in housing." Sept 1998
    • 1997   National Marketplace for the Environment Conference. Washington, D.C.  Presentation:  "The Farmhouse - A Bio-Based Project from USDA Sponsored Agricultural Materials.”
    • 1996   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. 
    • 1994   University of Kentucky, Kentucky Tobacco Research Board.  Presentation:  "Engineered Molded Fiber Technology as a New Use for Tobacco By-Products." 
    • 1994   USDA Agricultural Day. Washington, D.C. Video: "New Uses for Agricultural Products." 
    • 1994   First Annual 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."
    • 2004   CU Sustainable Energy Forum, September 13.  USGBC, Colorado Conference Speaker, Sept.
    • 2003   International Solar Energy Conference and National American Solar Energy Society conference. “An Energy and Material Assessment of the Bio-based Farmhouse. Austin.  June.
    • 2003   International Interior Design Society, Sustainable Design Event, Speaker
    • 2003   US Green Building Council, Colorado Chapter, Fall 2003.  Educational Program Speaker
    • 2002   Environmental Design: Industrialized Agricultural Architecture, IAA & The Farmhouse presented at the ACSA 2002 National Conference Proceedings