The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced a two-year, $363,475 grant award to the Virginia Tech Center for Housing Research, a center within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, to conduct research on green building practices.

The center is one of six national awardees of the 2010 Sustainable Communities Research Grant Program (SCRG) awarded by HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities. The purpose of SCRG is to support projects that fill data and information gaps in housing and community development research and aid policy-makers in decisions leading to strong, sustainable communities.

The Virginia Tech researchers will evaluate the impact of market behavior on the adoption and diffusion of innovative green building technologies in the residential building industry with the goal of promoting sustainable and affordable housing.

According to Marilyn Cavell, co-director of the Center for Housing Research, securing funding through the Sustainable Communities Research Grant Program was the successful outcome of an extremely competitive process. “We understand that our pre-proposal was in the top 1 percent of those submitted,” Cavell says.  “Of the 27 organizations asked by HUD to submit a full-proposal, only six were successful in receiving a share of the $2.4 million in SCRG funding.”

The lead principal investigator for the new award is Andrew McCoy, who is both an assistant professor in the Department of Building Construction within the Myers-Lawson School of Construction, and associate director of technology research in the center. Professor of urban affairs and planning and center co-director Ted Koebel and Hazhir Rahmandad, assistant professor of the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering are also named as co-investigators. Chris Franck, research assistant professor in the department of statistics and the Laboratory for Statistical Analysis at Virginia Tech will also play a major role in the research effort.

The SCRG award is not the only collaboration the center has with HUD. The center is currently the recipient of $97,679 in funding through HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities Regional Planning Grant Program as a partner with the New River Valley Planning District Commission (PDC). In the spring of 2011, the PDC and its partners received a $1 million grant to implement the New River Valley Livability Initiative, a three-year regional planning project integrating housing, land use, economic and workforce development, energy, and transportation in pursuit of reducing barriers to achieving affordable, sustainable communities.

“With funding through both the Sustainable Communities Research Grant and the Regional Planning Grant programs, the Virginia Tech Center for Housing Research is at the forefront nationally in conducting sustainability research,” says Cavell.



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