Walking or driving on campus near Lincoln Theater or the Konover Campus Center these days prompts the question “What are those little buildings over there on the grass?” Assistant Professor Seth Holmes teaches architecture in the University’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture and can explain what they are:
Holmes’ graduate architecture students are using the huts to learn how to design energy-efficient buildings. They learned techniques first in the classroom and then put those lessons into practice on campus.
"We got hands-on experience with the building systems,” explains Lance Green M‘17 who also had Holmes as a professor as an undergraduate. “We saw how all the components interact with each other and how they all function. It is definitely better than reading a textbook.”
Fahed Baker and Alyssa Danielwicz, also first-year architecture graduate students, are particularly interested in the data they collected from the buildings.
“We’ve been gathering temperature and humidity levels using a technology available right on our phones.” says Fahed. “I think it went well and we learned a lot of things.”
“That was the most rewarding part for me,” Alyssa agrees. “Seeing the data and significant results from the different methods that we used to build the huts, that was cool.”
Evan Switzer M’17 says the project will have practical implications in the workplace.
“We can take the data from these small scale projects and apply them to larger buildings,” he says. “We are learning how to naturally achieve comfortable temperatures on the inside of buildings without the help of machines to heat and cool the buildings.”