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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Architecture: Climate Change and the Built Environment: Search Tips


Subject Headings

Subject contains/ is (exact)

Architecture and climate

Architecture et climat

Architecture and energy conservation

Structural Stability

Dwellings– Energy conservation


Natural disasters

Human ecology

City planning– Environmental aspects

Urban ecology  

Architecture, Domestic

Architecture, Domestic– Environmental aspects

Ecological houses

Ecological houses– Design and construction

Sustainable architecture

Sustainable architecture– Design and construction

Sustainable development

Architecture durable

Architecture and society

Architecture– Human factors

Vernacular architecture– Environmental aspects

Vernacular architecture

Climatic changes


Energy efficiency

Energy efficient buildings

Landscape ecology

Building construction and design

Regional planning

Buildings– Environmental engineering





Bioclimatic design

Natural disasters


Structural stability

Environment impact

Regenerative development and design


Indigenous stewardship

Traditional knowledge systems

Integrated delivery processes




Green infrastructure

Green building

Eco design

Land back

Rational regionalism








Passive design

Passive heating and cooling

Material ecologies



Persistent architecture


Strategic Searching

This is a brief introduction to strategic searching techniques for learning more about climate change and the built environment. You'll find some additional tips and tricks that we use at the libraries to search for materials, and you are invited to send us any additional advice on our feedback page located at the end of this guide.

If you haven't already, take a moment now to jot down some notes on who else, besides you, is interested in this topic. Who's invested in this information? Who and what is effected by that? What does it mean for you to be the one accessing these resources? What will you be doing with the end-products of your research? Consider these guiding questions to generate keywords, and evaluate the authority and relevance of the resources you come across. Remember that in doing research you are joining a conversation between all manners of peoples, and you too are bringing a lot with you into the space. 

For more on how to get started and stay organized in your search, see the resources below:

Boolean Search

Boolean operators are words that can make your search wider or narrower.

  • AND will narrow your search by only returning results that include both terms (ex. architecture AND American)
  • OR will widen your search by returning results for either term (ex. architecture OR American)
  • NOT will narrow your search by eliminating results that include that term (ex. architecture NOT American)

Other Tips

If you only want results that include the entire phrase you are searching for, try putting the phrase in quotes (ex. "architectural theory")

If you're not sure how a word is spelled or you want to find results that include multiple versions of a word, use an asterisk to replace those letter(s) (ex. librar* to return results for library and libraries)

Keywords and Subjects

When you search by keyword in a database:

  • you are searching for words and phrases that can be found anywhere in the text of the item record and/or article.
  • you are not searching for commonly used words parts of speech. Examples include articles, pronouns, and prepositions. Databases do not index commonly used words, which are called stop words. Examples of stop words in databases are: a, an, about, after, all, also, and, any, are, as, at, based, because, been, between, and many more.

Searching by keyword can be a flexible way to find a large number of results. You can use keyword searching as a way to find targeted results: slang, jargon, and new terms work well in keyword searches.

When you search by subject, you are using a term from a pre-defined controlled vocabulary determined by that database or library cataloging department. You will only receive resources that were assigned the subject heading you searched with. For this reason, articles found via subject heading searches can be very reliable. The subject will appear in the record item's subject heading or descriptor field. You can use the library catalog filtering options to further limit your results. 

Searching by subject can be a very specific way to find targeted results within a specific discipline or research area. This can be very beneficial to your research; however, searching by subject only works if you know which subject terms to search with. If you don't know any off the top of your head, start with a known useful resource and look at what subjects were assigned to that one. In our library catalog, the subject headings are also hyperlinked so if you click on them you will be directly pulled into a search of all library materials assigned with that subject heading. Our library catalog also allows you to browse by subject using keywords by selecting the drop-down filter options "contains" or "starts with" instead of "is (exact)." 

Please also note that resources in the library catalog will often have several subject headings assigned to them listed in order of relevance to the text. As such, you can search for resources by specific subject combinations too.