Polly Cooper is a registered architect in the state of California with more than 25 years of experience in design and architecture. She founded San Luis Sustainability Group (SLSG) 26 years ago with fellow architect Ken Haggard. Cooper specializes in sustainability and passive solar design, using natural light as a major component. She also is a professor emeritus of architecture at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she taught for more than 20 years.
Cooper has designed hundreds of passive solar buildings. She and Haggard currently focus on passive sustainable design for commercial, public and residential uses, the design of cohousing, straw bale buildings, landscape regeneration, research and consultation.
Cooper received a bachelor's degree in music history from Wellesley College and a master's degree in education from Harvard. At the University of California, Berkeley, Cooper added a master's degrees in architecture and landscape architecture and completed the Berkeley Professional Program in India.
Cooper has been recognized for her sustainable architecture work with numerous awards, including:
· Passive Pioneer Award (with Ken Haggard), American Solar Energy Society, 1996;
· LEED 2.0 Certified Design Professional
· First Place Winning Design (as a team member), American Institute of Architects' AIA/UIA International Competition on Sustainable Communities, 1993;
· Honor Award (with Christie Coffin and Ken Haggard) in the California Energy Efficient Office Building Competition, 1976; and
· Exemplary Teaching Award, California Polytechnic State University.
· Top 10 Green Architects 2005, Natural Home magazine
Cooper is a frequent speaker on passive solar design. She has spoken at Ball State University; University of California, Santa Cruz; Organization of Women Architects; Women's School of Planning and Architecture; ACSA National Technology Conference in Washington, D.C.; Designing for Sustainable Communities Conference in Santa Barbara; Green Building Conference in Santa Barbara; and the University of Oregon, Eugene. She was a plenary speaker at the Rural Towns Symposium in Sun Valley, Idaho, and the 11th National Passive Solar Conference in Boulder, Colorado.