John Brown

Dean, Professor

John Brown is a registered architect and a founding principal of both Housebrand Construction and FABhome. He is a recognized authority on residential practice, new models of architectural practice, and age-in-community design. In 2003, he received the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation for his development of Housebrand, a vertically integrated practice that combines residential architecture, construction, interior design and real estate services into a one-stop shop for homebuyers. In 2009, he received a Leadership Award from Residential Architect Magazine in recognition of his work to increase public awareness about the value of design.

In 2012, Professor Brown began a collaboration with researchers in the Cumming School of Medicine to look at age-in-community design strategies. He completed a PhD entitled Going Home: Future Adaptive Building for Aging-in-Place in 2016 through the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. This research explored new forms of age-in-place housing that combines mass customization and design democratization with digital monitoring/sensing and next generation home-based medical support to create a new approach to housing our older adult population and keep them out of structured care facilities for as long as possible. The PhD led to the Age-in-Place Laneway House Research Project which received a Mayor’s Urban Design Award in Housing Innovation. In 2018, Professor Brown began commercialization of this research through the Social Enterprise Incubator Program run by Innovate Calgary and micro-voucher funding from Alberta Innovates. FABhome launched in 2020 to deliver this innovative age-in-community architectural initiative to seniors across Canada.

Learn more about FABhome. 


Principal, FABhome Ltd.
Principal, Housebrand Construction Ltd.
Registered Architect, Alberta Association of Architects
Fellow, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada


President, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)

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John Brown

Contact information 
+1 (403) 220-6606
Professional Faculties 2190

B.Sc Engineering (University of Manitoba)
M.Arch (University of Texas)
M.Sc (Columbia University)
PhD (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)

Research Interests

  • Housing
  • Aging in place
  • Home health
  • Mass customization
  • Architectural entrepreneurship


LinkedIn profile

Pandemic highlights need for alternatives to nursing homes

CBC, June 21, 2020: Small prefabricated homes designed by John Brown are packed with low and high tech innovation from monitoring systems to softer floors to keep people safe at home, longer. Watch »

Prefabricated smart homes for seniors in rural Alberta communities

CTV News, June 17, 2020: They’re called FABhomes and were designed by John Brown the Dean of Architecture at the University of Calgary. His idea has taken about four years to become reality and now the town of Bassano, Alta. will be the first to get them for its aging population. Read more »

UCalgary and mayor join forces to make Calgary's downtown a more welcoming place for everyone

City of Calgary and School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape launch 9 Block initiative to address safety and vibrancy concerns Read more »

John Brown, SAPL dean, becomes president of Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape's dean excited to establish provincial chapters and local networks across Canada Read more »

UCalgary announces three-year research partnership to transform Calgary’s downtown  

School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape’s Green Alley Project pilot takes first step toward realizing value of alleyways Read more »


Archinect Deans List: The Importance of Fostering Design Innovation and Entrepreneurship 

"In response to what’s happening politically and globally, this is a moment in the world’s history where so many problems are directly related to each other, and solutions must come out of the built environment" Read more »

SAPL Launches New Doctor of Design Program

The doctoral program is the first in Canada that specifically focuses on practicing architects, planners, and landscape architects. Read more »

The Future of Architecture

UCalgary’s newly renamed School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape is redefining itself for the 21st century — and beyond Read more »