Saturday, September 11th, 2010
The NYT is running an op-ed by Bob Dunay and Joseph Wheeler (Virginia Tech) about a new, award-winning home design that challenges people to re-think their conception of the built environment:
Will our children’s homes be anything as comfortable and expansive as our own?
The answer is yes—though it depends on how you frame the question. Our children probably won’t be able to afford to run conventional air conditioners all day long. Nor will they likely have access to unlimited water supplies, particularly in the parched Southwest. But that doesn’t mean they have to live without the same quality of life that their parents and grandparents have grown accustomed to. The key is to use smart planning and technological advances to not merely adapt the home, but rethink its most basic design and function.
To demonstrate what such a house might look like, our team of professors and students at Virginia Tech designed and built Lumenhaus. With functional spaces and a modest size that allows for efficient energy use, Lumenhaus won the 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe, a competition that brought together 17 college teams from around the world in Madrid.