Margot McDonald

Margot McDonald, IA, NCARB, LEED AP, is a professor of architecture at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo teaching building energy courses (heating, cooling, lighting, acoustics, water and waste), historic preservation, and integrated project delivery to 4th year architecture, landscape architecture, construction management, and architectural engineering students at Cal Poly-SLO. Her professional consulting work includes collaboration with Sasaki Associates on the sustainability master plan for Cal State University-Monterey Bay and as a team member on a campus proposal for a biological solid waste and wastewater resource recovery facility for Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. She has been recognized in “Ecological Design and Building Schools” for leading the Sustainable Environmental Design Education (SEDE) program (, a comprehensive curriculum framework for architects and landscape architects funded by the California Integrated Waste Management Board. She has been a design juror for the energy utilities programs, “Savings by Design” and the “Leading Edge Student Energy Competition.” She is the faculty advisor for the Sustainable Environments Minor, an interdisciplinary degree program that collectively received an AIA/Committee on the Environment eco-literacy award in May 2005. From 2006-2009, she was chair of the US Green Building Council’s Formal Education Committee and is the current past chair for the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Board of Directors. She began her affiliation with ASES in 1987 after attending a national solar conference as a graduate student working under University of Oregon Professors John Reynolds and G.Z. Brown. She has also served as Chair and Vice-chair of the Solar Buildings Division of ASES.

Professor McDonald is a registered architect in the State of Oregon. She holds a Masters in Architecture degree from the University of Oregon as well as undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and French from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is currently is a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the Geography Department at UC-Santa Barbara where she is designing a climate classification system for passive and low energy buildings in California.