Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches

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Buford Woodrow Duke Jr., associate professor of architecture at The University of Texas at Austin, died on February 3, 2000, after suffering a heart attack.

Buford joined the School of Architecture in fall 1981 as a visiting associate professor, bringing to the University a background in architectural practice in the design and execution of large, complex building projects. A registered architect in eleven states and the District of Columbia, he had served as senior corporate vice president and principal designer of the Benham Group. He specialized in sustainability, energy, and resource conservation and became known as a pioneer in the Green Building Movement in architecture. He was promoted to associate professor in 1983.

Professor Duke was born on June 17, 1938, in Dallas, Texas, to Buford and Mildred Duke. He was the eldest of five sons. He attended UT Arlington before transferring to the University in 1959, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1962. In 1958 he married Ruth Stout and they had two daughters, Tanya and Belinda.

Considered an innovative teacher, Buford emphasized practice-based, design team approaches employed by architectural firms. In one instance, he led students on a field trip to Ruidoso, New Mexico, to work at the site of architect David Smith 's Studio III Art School to design a master plan for turning the school into a full-scale living art community. In another instance, Buford developed and taught a current events topics studio. The class worked on a unique Peace Corps training center and hosted Peace Corps officials to lecture and review their work. In addition, Buford had his students work on large, urban-scaled projects that explored economic issues and sustainable architecture. This included a downtown Austin multi-use project near the Convention Center, a riverfront development in New Jersey, the Triangle Development in Austin, and a children 's home in Kenya. Buford also led his students in developing master plans for the cities of Florence, Kemah, and Port Aransas, Texas.

He encouraged his students to participate in design competitions. In a major competition sponsored by Acme Brick Company, his students won prizes for design in load-bearing masonry. In 1990, Buford sponsored the top three winning student entries in the Solar-90 Conference for the Texas Solar Energy Society. The projects were judged for originality and energy concepts.

Buford's own architectural designs were significant. As principal designer with the Benham Group, he oversaw the creation of the Sacramento State Office Building, which featured underground earth-tempered architecture, natural sources of light, and a six-story solar wall with 12,000 square feet of solar collectors. Considered one of the pioneering energy-efficient office buildings in America, the design was honored with three awards: the 1978 State of California 's award for design of an energy-efficient office building, an Owens Corning energy award, and the Department of Energy Award. He also designed the 1.2 million dollar Setty residence in Vienna, Virginia. The advanced state hybrid energy systems in the 7,200 square foot house included a groundwater heat pump with a passive heat recovery backup, a pool-connected heat sink, and a radiant heat system. His other architectural projects of merit included the Barcelona Condos in San Antonio, the Ron Duke residence in Canyon Lake, and the restoration of the Allan W. Nalle residence at Lake LBJ.

In addition, Buford worked on various public service oriented projects with his colleagues and students. With Professor Lance Tatum he worked on a design feasibility study for the Austin community nursery schools and the East Austin Center as well as on a relocating and rebuilding plan for the American Daylily Company. With Professors Richard Swallow and Michael Garrison, and their advanced design students, he worked on low-income housing for a colonia along the Texas border with Mexico. The project was carried out for the State of Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

Buford served as a design consultant to architects O 'Neal Ford and Frank Welch, for whom he helped develop the $45 million dollar Center for Energy Related Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He also worked with Dr. Les Boyer from Oklahoma State University on collaborative measurements and evaluation of "The Application of Daylighting in Commercial and Industrial Buildings."

As an expert in his field, Buford served as an invited juror for the Air Force Systems Command Awards Program in 1983 and 1984. He was appointed a member of the Building Types Energy Performance Standards Committee of the U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, in 1985. He was named special environmental planning expert for the United States Air Force (USAF) Office of Scientific Research and also served as a design consultant for the USAF Systems Command Advanced Air Base Planning "React"  Team. He was presented the USAF Award of Merit for his work with Advanced Air Base Planning Programs at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C.

Buford was a valued colleague and friend to the School of Architecture for more than 19 years. His contribution to the academy of architecture was important and his place in history as a pioneering member of the energy and architecture field is secure. He influenced countless numbers of architecture students who will undoubtedly carry the lessons of his teaching into their own careers.

Buford was one of those rare people who had strong-principled ideals and yet remained grounded in the importance of acknowledging real-world constraints and needs. He was also a professional who believed in service to the community and generously helped his family or others. We will all miss his gentle spirit, his kind nature, and his sense of humor.


Larry R. Faulkner, President
The University of Texas at Austin


John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty

This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Lance E. Tatum (chair), Michael L. Garrison, and Richard P. Swallow.