UVa Students Prepare for Habitat for Humanity

By: Liz Palka Email
By: Liz Palka Email

A team of UVa Architecture and Engineering students will be partnering up with Habitat for Humanity in the spring to build a sustainable house. In the mean time, the students had a practice run where they built a shelter, with a budget of ten dollars, and had to sleep in it all night.

"I think it turned out great, it did rain a little bit during the night. We stayed nice and dry. It was a comfortable temperature inside the whole night. Had a nice view of the moon," said Edric Barnes, and second year Engineering student.

To add more to the challenge, each shelter was evaluated on aesthetic, technical, financial issues and much more.

"We also had them look at how the materials were put together and the innovative use of materials. There is some very innovative use of unconventional building materials in the shelters," said John Quale, an Assistant Professor of Architecture and director of the project.

The spring project is called ecoMOD, and the goal is to make a series of prototypical homes that are sustainable, affordable, and pre-fabricated.

"One of the primary focuses of the project is to try to be very rigorous in how we assess sustainability within the homes that we create. That's a constant challenge because we're doing affordable housing, we have to meet the budget of our client, and we have to do it in a sustainable way," said Quale.

The Habitat house won't be finished until next summer. It will be located right in Charlottesville.

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