Innovation and Research

The Economic Recovery Act signed into law by President Obama enables resources for investments in infrastructure, affordable housing, education, and mass transit, as well as funding for research. We believe students and schools of architecture have a valuable contribution to make to help ensure that projects funded are not simply “shovel-ready,” but “shovel-worthy.”

The AIA and ACSA held a call for examples of faculty and student projects that would be of interest to local AIA chapters working to influence the effective use of stimulus funding. 




Sustainable Design


Nadia M. Anderson
IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY


Project Name
The Bridge Studio - Green Housing


Project Date
August - December, 2008


Project Description
Students developed prototypes for single and multi-family affordable housing that incorporate energy efficiency, stormwater management, and indoor air quality strategies within typical budgets used by non-profit agencies using HUD funding (HOME, CDBG, etc.). Projects were developed for underserved communities in Iowa cities using modular construction technology.  

Projects from previous semesters incorporate advanced framing stick building techniques.  Preliminary cost 

estimates and construction documents were prepared by students and are ready to go.

How does the project relate to economic stimulus funding?
The projects engage affordable housing, neighborhood development, and green building and site strategies.


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Sustainable Design


Nadia M. Anderson and Carl Rogers
IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY


Project Name
Green Iowa Communities


Project Date

January 2009


Project Description

Students are developing proposals for four Iowacommunities that incorporate sustainable economic development, transportation, urban agriculture, and social networking strategies to generate prototypes for "green" rural towns, small cities, and neighborhoods within larger cities.


How does the project relate to economic stimulus funding? 

The proposals engage economic development centered on green industries and urban agriculture, promote 

sustainable land use practices, promote low-income 

neighborhood revitalization using sustainable models, and promote community identity on local and regional scales.


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Sustainable Design


Frank Jacobus
UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO


Project Name
McCall Carbon-Neutral Living Facility


Project Date
September - December 2009


Project Description
The design of a carbon-neutral living facility for theUniversity of Idaho field campus in McCall, Idaho.


How does the project relate to economic stimulus funding? 
This project involves collaborative work with design professionals in the region to build a carbon-neutral (zero energy) living facility in McCall, Idaho.  The living facility houses middle school and high school students from around the state of Idaho.  We are seeking funding for the building of this facility so that it can provide a model for future living quarters and help teach the students of Idaho about sustainable lifestyle and design practices.


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Sustainable Design

Kihong Ku
VIRGINIA TECH UNIVERSITY

Project Name
Green BIM approaches to Affordable Housing for Increased Sustainability

Project Date
June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2010

Project Description
The effectiveness of BIM tools for sustainable buildings and processes remain largely unrealized, when attempting to satisfy a complex set of requirements with current tools. The lack of understanding of applicable sustainability metrics to BIM design process is a significant barrier. This project will explore the various sustainability metrics available to construction and investigate how parametric tools, laser scanning, sensors and various analyses/simulation tools can contribute to rehabilitate affordable housing, including public housing and "HUD-assisted" housing. The costs, benefits, and design process challenges will be mapped to expand the use of Green BIM methods.

How does the project relate to economic stimulus funding?
This project relates to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for building energy retrofits.

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Community Engagement


John Blake
MIAMI UNIVERSITY, OHIO


Project Name
Sustainable Republic:  Renovation of 1405-07 Republic Street in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine.


Project Date
January 2009 - ongoing

Project Description
Miami University Center for Community Engagement is working with non-profit community development corporations to redevelop tandem historic buildings on Republic Street in the heart of Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. The five-story brick structures are structurally sound and retain much historic character, but have been uninhabited for several years. The project is in the “pre-development” phase as of Spring 2009. Miamiarchitecture students are currently working back-and-forth with Over-the-Rhine Community Housing to hone ideas for the buildings, the block, and the 

neighborhood. By preliminary estimates the building renovation budget will be $4 million, but could pay significant dividends for the neighborhood. The buildings will be a prototype for mixed-income, pancultural housing in a neighborhood strained by market-rate development and displacement, as well as an urban 

research and development site for sustainable systems, products and techniques and a hub for interaction between the academy, the profession, and the community.


How does the project relate to economic stimulus funding?
The Sustainable Republic initiative is an expansive project that will address each of the target areas listed in the ACSA/AIA Call for Action.


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Community Engagement


Simi Hoque
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS, AMHERST


Project Name
Building Energy Training Workshop


Project Date
March 17 - September 1, 2009


Project Description
This project addresses core issues facing low-income communities: housing, employment, and education. We have developed  a green jobs training workshop for YouthBuild students, who are predominantly low-income at-risk Latino youth ages 16 to 22, in basic building energy management, energy auditing, and weatherization.


The focus of the program is low income housing in western Massachusetts. University of Massachusetts students (as part of a service learning initiative) provide job-training and field experience inspecting, diagnosing, and remediating homes for “greening” opportunities that will save energy dollars and reduce energy and resource consumption. Our program also helps to preserve the existing housing stock and improve the comfort, health, and safety of the occupants. Furthermore, we intend to foster a sense of environmental stewardship and community leadership among the program participants and bring attention to conservation and sustainable initiatives in the region and the Commonwealth.
 


How does the project relate to economic stimulus funding?
We are empowering youth to join the green job corps and participate in the new energy economy. We are funded in part by the stimulus package for the DOE.

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Transportation/Infrastructure


Marleen Kay Davis
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE


Project Name
Cumberland Avenue: Community Building with Federal Highway Funds


Project Date
Spring 2008



Project Description
As a form of “applied research” utilizing urban design principles for public space, this design studio helped local citizens and officials realize the long-term potential of Cumberland Avenue, which could be a handsome entry to the city of Knoxville, as well as a vibrant mixed-use center, with increased density and property values. With the University of Tennessee to the south, and extensive medical facilities and residential areas to the 

north,Cumberland Avenue is currently an unsafe eyesore surrounded by 35,000 residents, students, and 

workers. The studio imagined a reconfigured street with wider 

sidewalks, trees, three lanes of traffic, bus pullouts on each side of the street, buried utilities, signage guidelines, handsome lighting and street fixtures, funded with Federal Highway grants. Each student explored private development ideas for Cumberland Avenue,assuming  increased property values and increased density. Form-based codes set general height limits and mandated 80% street frontage for new construction along with a “cafe-zone” on the south.  Student designs include 3,500 new parking spaces, managed by a central authority.

How does the project relate to economic stimulus funding?
As U.S. Highway 11, Cumberland Avenue is eligible for federal highway improvement funds.The City of Knoxville has utilized federal highway funds for “planning” and “design guidelines”  for a $15,000,000 street reconfiguration. Students worked with officials from both the City and the Metropolitan Planning Commission.

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Transportation/Infrastructure

Derek Hoeferlin / Jane Wolff / Elise Shelley
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY OF ST. LOUIS/UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

Project Name
Post-Katrina New Orleans - "Operation Gutter to Gulf"

Project Date
January 1, 2009 to future

Project Description
The project is a Spring 2009 and beyond collaborative effort between architecture students of the Sam Fox 

School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and landscape architecture students of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. The studios' charge is to assist in an ongoing effort titled Dutch Dialogues, a multi-disciplinary trans-national group led by Waggonner & Ball Architects of New Orleans, the American Planning Association and the Royal Netherlands Embassy. The overall intentions of Dutch Dialogues are to examine, research and speculate on integrated water management and infrastructural strategies for New Orleans and the surrounding region. The studios will 

examine water as a means to rehabilitate the urban landscape of New Orleans, positioning water within our 

sights and within our minds. Multiple scales of architecture, landscape, infrastructure and urbanism will be researched and designed as inextricable parts of the same whole, tracking and integrating water from the gutter to the gulf [of Mexico]. The mission: spatially convince the public sector and elected officials that an integrated water management plan demand top priority in the present, ongoing on long-term rebuilding and revisioning of New Orleans.

How does the project relate to economic stimulus funding?
Water Planning, Infrastructure and productive crops, alternative building methods.

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Transportation/Infrastructure



Nick Jenisch
TULANE UNIVERSITY


Project Name
Lake Pontchartrain Shoreline Protection: Demonstration Project



Project Date
January 2009 - Present

Project Description
The collaboration is between the Tulane Regional UrbanDesign Center and several local architects and engineers in order to study the effects of typical and storm-related wave action and surge on the Lake Pontchartrain seawall and the levee system behind the seawall.  The project will use the vast base of existing research on the topic and study the successful examples of erosion control that exist on the shoreline today.  Further, the project will engage the public through multiple, open-format workshops that bring design and technical expertise to the residents 

of New Orleans.  This research project has very real water 

protection implications for the City of New Orleans and others that share the Lake Pontchartrain shoreline.  The proposed research project would have enormous impact if its findings could be reviewed, approved by appropriate local, state, and federal bodies, and receivefunding for construction.  Such a series of events would represent an unmatched amenity in the areas of recreation, environmental protection, and erosion control, which promotes increased storm safety.


How does the project relate to economic stimulus funding?
This research project has very real water protection implications for the City of New Orleans and others that share the Lake Pontchartrain shoreline.  The proposed research project would have enormous impact if its findings could be reviewed, approved by appropriate local, state, and federal bodies, and receive funding for construction.  Such a series of events would represent an unmatched amenity in the areas of recreation, environmental protection, and erosion control, which promotes increased storm safety.

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Building Materials


Liane Hancock
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS


Project Name
Materials Resource Center Database


Project Date
in progress


Project Description
The College of Architecture’s Materials Resource Centerat Washington University in St. Louis is developing a database of sustainable materials. We believe that the considered selection of sustainable materials early in the design process can significantly alter the spaces and products we produce, thus reducing negative impacts on the environment. Through a unique educational and research resource we seek to broadly impact long-term environmental challenges facing the world today.


The database will focus upon material selection during the design process, emphasizing qualitative material characteristics and providing evaluation of materials for sustainability. Materials will be evaluated through listing environmental certifications, recycled and recyclable content, and distance to users to evaluate whether the 

material is locally produced. The database will not assign a sustainable rating for each material; instead it will allow users to compare similar materials and to evaluate data based upon transparent and non-proprietary information. A fully documented glossary of environmental certifications will describe the various certifying agencies and their sponsors.


How does the project relate to economic stimulus funding?
The Materials Resource Center Database relates to the economic stimulus package because it will emphasize sustainable building design through the considered selection of sustainable materials and it will showcase innovative building materials. Materials will be evaluated through listing environmental certifications, recycled and recyclable content, and distance to users to evaluate whether the material is locally produced. Precedent analysis of existing building application of sustainable materials will prove invaluable as an educational opportunity to those who are outside of the design field but who are involved in the building process, showing how these materials have been previously employed.

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