Mae-lab is
an Environmental Design Laboratory that focuses on two primary subjects:

  1. Green building design & Renewable energy in buildings
  2. Computed environmental design


Source: Patrick MacLeamy AIA/HOK

    We pay lots of attention to the early stages of the design process, where the environmental design impacts on energy saving and building quality are at peak, while it cost the minimum, compared to the advanced design stage

Applicants are expected to have;

  • Strong passion to study
  • Good experience of doing research and excellent knowledge of building physics.
  • Very good skills in Computer Aided Design (CAD), and a fair knowledge of environmental simulation tools and programming.
  • Good English proficiency (Indispensable) / Japanese  (Desirable)


Notes for applicants
There are many applications to our lab, which we would love to welcome, but we have limited number of seats, and we have to end up with a short list.

For us, to understand your abilities, you may want to provide us with the appropriate material that describes your skills the best.

the basic items that we look for are listed below;
On the first week after the department deadline, we will send the selection results for ALL applicants.

  1. Academic Certificates and transcripts,
  2. English and Japanese tests score,
  3. Portfolio of your architectural design,
  4. Certificate in CAD skills, building simulation, and programming,
  5. Summary of Research activity.

These documents need be provided within 2 months before the Department of Architecture application deadline. (check the applications deadline here).

Expected knowledge before entering Mael-ab as post-grad students

Accepted “research” students will take an entrance exam at the Department of Architecture, then they can start pursuing their postgraduate degree.

Before commencing the degree and changing from ” research” to “regular MSc/Ph.D.” student, you are expected to gain enough knowledge on environmental and sustainable design fundamentals, which includes;

  •  To gain good knowledge about CAD and BEM tools like Revit, FormIt, IES-VE, Design Builder, Energy-Plus, Radiance, and so forth.
  • To understand the content and concepts of environmental design, these can be found in our must-read books” list in both English and Japanese. Students are expected to read at least one of theses with deep understanding.

A must-read book list

We strongly encourage our applicants to understand and get so familiar with the content of these books.


Introduction to Architectural Science

Introduction to Architectural Science, by Szokolay, is a fundamental book that all students need to read. It introduces the basic physics of architectural science.
The first two chapters are intrinsic to our studies;

Part1 HEAT: the thermal environment
Part2 LIGHT: the luminous environment




Heating, cooling, lighting

For a more detailed explanation of architectural physics, one may extend his knowledge by referring to Lechner’s book, Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects. This book is deemed to be one of the known handbooks in the field of environmental design and is used as a reference in many architecture schools.




In addition, we listed up other important textbooks that an applicant may want to explore prior entering the regular course, the list is;







About Japanese language 
There are many foreign students in Mae-lab and It is possible for you to carry out research without Japanese skill. But it will restrict your activity, and you would miss a lot.
Besides, in some cases, you might be required to do primary procedures in Japanese. Your colleagues are usually so busy and finding support and translations is not always available. Therefore, having basic knowledge of Japanese is quite essential to study in Japan. In the “Japanese Language Proficiency Test”, You are recommended to get JLPT level N4.

>>> JLPT Japanese Language Proficiency Test; levels and dates)

If you want to join research projects activities with Japanese students, then level-N2  certificate is required.

In this case, you are strongly recommended to read The Japanese must-read books list, as below “必読書 – 日本 :

最新建築環境工学 改訂4版(井上書院)
環境工学の基礎がおおむね網羅された必携書。特に 1章概論・2章快適条件・3章日照日射・5章換気と通風・6章建築電熱は完全に理解してください。その後に、7章湿気結露・4章照明計画を学んでください。ただし設備の記述は少ないので、建築物理の基礎を学ぶための本です。




デザイナーのための建築環境計画 ~熱・日射・光・風~ (丸善出版)