Virginia Tech’s LumenHAUS was honored for their 2012 Institute Honors Award during the 63rd Annual Honors and Awards Celebration session at the AIA National Convention and Design Exposition on Friday, May 18, 2012.
The Institute Honors Awards program recognizes achievements for a broad range of architectural activity to elevate the general quality of architecture practice, establish a standard of excellence against which all architects can measure performance, and inform the public of the breadth and value of architecture practice.
Virginia Tech’s acclaimed LumenHAUS has earned another feather in its much-adorned cap. This net-zero-energy house — which has garnered attention not only for design excellence but as an educational tool — has been awarded a 2012 Institute Honor Award for Architecture from the national component of the AIA. Recognized by the Society with a 2011 VSAIA design award and the Prize for Design Research and Scholarship in 2010, the LumenHAUS also took home the top prize at the European Solar Decathlon in 2010.
The house has been on display in New York’s Times Square, Washington, D.C. and alongside Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House as an exhibition, not only on good design, but as a tool informing the wider public about issues of alternative energy and sustainability.
The 2010 VSAIA Prize for Design Research and Scholarship jury met via conference call on Sept. 3, to select this year’s Prize winner. Jury Chair Dennis Andrejko, FAIA led the process as the jury carefully reviewed and discussed the eight papers submitted for the 2010 prize. After significant deliberation, the jury selected Eclipsis System: An Innovative Sun Control and Insulation Fenestration, submitted by a Virginia Tech team of Robert Dunay FAIA, Director, Center for Design Research; Joe Wheeler AIA, Lead Coordinator Lumenhaus; Robert Schubert, Associate Dean for Research; and Jonathan Grinham, Graduate Student. The paper described the research behind and development of a screen and shutter system used for both sun shade and climate control in Lumenhaus, Virginia Tech’s winning entry in the 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe in Madrid. The Jury (other members included Angela Brooks AIA, Dan Williams, FAIA, and Rafael Longoria) commented:
“This is a very strong piece and research investigation. We loved what it has done and how it sets the foundation for further work. The project is an interesting idea that has been researched, tested, and thoroughly documented. It is a modern interpretation based on a time-honored cultural system of ventilation walls. This could go into the public realm and be used by architects to further the practice of architecture, graphics and public presentation. We liked the mixing of technology, aesthetics, and cultural/societal grounding, with the skin becoming both a design driver and an energy system to help power the building. This is a growing and necessary part of architecture that we would like to see investigated even further.”
The 2010 VSAIA Prize for Design Research and Scholarship will be awarded at the VSAIA Annual Meeting at ArchEx Nov. 4, and the winning paper will be presented immediately following at 2:30 p.m., during session 203.