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New Jersey Institute of Technology

August 26, 2011

NJIT students, faculty, administration, major sponsors and VIP guests recently celebrated the New Jersey entry into the 2011 Solar Decathlon competition, entitled eNJoy, with a topping off party held on the NJIT campus.  The competition is sponsored by the US Department of Energy every two years.  The event, which featured tours through the building and a panel discussion on sustainable design, was held to showcase the building to the public and to thank its many sponsors before it is dismantled and transported to Washington DC.   

The building, a 940 square foot one bedroom house with a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar price tag, was envisioned as a Jersey shore getaway for a couple.  Associate Professor Richard Garber spearheaded the student effort which took over a year to design.  It is the first house in the competition’s history to employ precast concrete panels as the primary construction material.  The precast panels have integral plumbing and electrical systems and can be reassembled in a variety of ways.  The modular house has an inverted roof to catch water and sunlight. State of the art solar and thermal technology is integrated into the building which produces enough energy to supply appliances plus all heating and cooling.  Once the house reaches Washington, it will be reassembled in two days on the National Mall and then opened to an expected crowd of more than 300,000 visitors.  

Associate Professor Tony Schuman received the Charles Cummings Award from the Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee in recognition of his efforts to extend their work beyond conventional landmarks buildings to save and celebrate the social and cultural heritage of a community.  Schuman organized a three day celebration of the Newark Eagles, the home town Negro Leagues baseball team that won the Negro Leagues World Series in 1946.  His current Newark Jazz Heritage project focuses on the city's legacy as a Mecca for jazz.  Schuman teaches the only course on Newark at the university and has enlisted students in research and writing projects including a digital archive of local landmarks and a history of Newark street names.

Assistant professor Andrzej Zarzycki gave two talks at the ACM Siggraph Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Both presentations relate the use of simulation and building information modeling (BIM) tools with conceptual design and form-making.  In his first talk, entitled Designing With Constraints: Parametric BIM, Zarzycki discussed using building information modeling tools as an opportunity for design generation, validation, and implementation. It specifically focused on parametric modeling and constraint-based design explorations and construction assemblies.

The second talk entitled Form-Making With Special Effect Tools, focused on strategies for generative-design validation with the use of digital simulations, particularly dynamics-based modeling tools. The presentation focused on tools that employ rigid-body or soft-body dynamics, such as cloth simulations, forward and inverse kinematics (FK/IK), and particle interactions.

Prior to his Siggraph presentation Zarzycki presented a paper at the Building Technology Educators' Society (BTES) Conference "CONVERGENCE + CONFLUENCEin Toronto, Canada, hosted by Ryerson University and University of Waterloo. The title of the presentation was Exploring Parametric BIM as a Conceptual Tool for Design and Building Technology Teaching.

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