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Resource Furniture Kicks in for Zero Energy Design Research

Georgia Tech College of Architecture students will research zero-energy housing concepts in the Zero Energy Design Housing Studio over the next year thanks to a gift from Resource Furniture; and funding from Alcoa Foundation and Architecture for Humanity.

The interdisciplinary seminar and studio will explore the development of well-designed, ultra-low energy, cost-effective urban housing through researching energy and design, material and spatial innovation, interior design/function and community design.

Students majoring in architecture, high-performance building and engineering will research and ultimately fully design, engineer and build a four- to 10-unit net-zero-energy house prototype that will serve as a living laboratory for ultra-low energy efficiency testing and other related research.

“Cities are once again becoming popular places to live,” said Michael Gamble, associate professor and principal investigator on the project. “Because of this, and since the demand for affordable, energy efficient housing outpaces the supply, it is imperative that we work to develop cutting-edge housing and demographic research, new design proposals, and pragmatic policy recommendations that expand housing options. Thanks to the Alcoa Foundation, Architecture for Humanity, and Resource Furniture, we’ll be able to make significant headway in that direction.”

The funding from Resource Furniture is the latest in the company's ongoing commitment to sponsoring and promoting non-profit and educational organizations, events and programs.

Recent sponsorships include the "Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers" exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York; and one-third of the solar-powered homes that competed in the 2013 U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon.

The gift from Resource Furniture will facilitate the students’ investigation of net-zero-energy housing with a specific focus on interior design, function and space efficiency.

The funds will contribute to providing guest speakers, seminars, studio materials and other support throughout the academic year. At the end of the spring semester, each team will submit a final residential interior design, which will incorporate the demographic research and efficient design principles discussed throughout the year.

These designs will enter a competition judged by a panel of representatives from a range of affiliated disciplines, including architects, interior designers, developers, researchers and editors. The winning design will be announced and showcased at Dwell on Design: June 20-22, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

In addition to the interior design competition, some of the student teams also will design multifunctional furniture, which will be entered into a second juried competition to be judged over the summer.

“The work that the students are doing in this studio is incredibly important, and could revolutionize the housing industry,” said Ron Barth, co-founder of Resource Furniture. “Not only do we see the increasingly important role that energy and space efficiency is playing in housing, but this program is also perfectly aligned with our values. We are especially excited to host the two competitions and introduce the design concepts from these multi-talented future architects, engineers and builders to the public at Dwell on Design in June.”

The project will take three years from start to finish, with an additional five years of testing after completion.

For ongoing information about the project, go here.



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