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Applying Innovative and Sustainable Building Techniques

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Category: academics Video duration: Applying Innovative and Sustainable Building Techniques

A combination of undergrad and graduate students in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies are designing and fabricating full scale mock-ups of a Greenhouse that is to showcase a multitude of innovative materials and building techniques including polycarbonate, wood fabric, ETFE & smart louvers, printed clay, a green roof, and solar panels. The studio, led by faculty members Kay Edge and Stefan Al, is intended to encourage students to combine sustainability, functionality, and beautiful architecture into a single project.

This is a mix of graduate and undergraduate students who are working together on a prototype for a very futuristic greenhouse. The main idea here is that we can use technology to create new building components that can create much a more sustainable future for us. [Full force. Go go go.] This course helped me a lot to think about what are the challenges you have when you build the project. I think also the other interesting part of this studio you get to learn from other groups because like we are doing like smart louvers. Other people are doing like 3D clay columns. So it's like you get to be exposed to other technologies and methods. Even if you're not doing that. They're using the latest technology in architecture, including 3D printing, CNC milling, photovoltaics, green roofs. And the idea to do something that's really kind of visionary and futuristic, but at the same time very sustainable. So one example is we're using a 3D clay printer to create columns that will be structural instead of concrete, which is quite bad on the environment. And the benefit of clay is not only doesn't have a lighter environmental footprints, you can also, once you print it, create very beautiful patterns and textures like you're seeing here. [It's a 3D ellipse shape. That is lofted together, and then contoured into layers.] I think this is what makes VT different from other universities. They have the facilities and they have all the efforts that they can put into students and with exploring all of these things. In normal studios you would design and then render and then that's it. But in this studio the interesting part was you're able to actually build it and see it's actually working. Students were able to marry both sustainability, functionality, beautiful architecture into a single project.