WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News

Hi-Tech Homes Preserve Past

By: Whitney Holmes Email
By: Whitney Holmes Email

August 14, 2007

Using nails, drills, and levies, UVa students worked together to assemble three modular units they have spent years designing.

One module is connecting to an existing house. The other two will form an apartment in the back.

The units are unlike any other. Dubbed, 'ecoMOD,' they are ecologically friendly by using sustainable materials and energy saving technologies.

"The first thing you want to do when you do a house like this is to think about the building envelope," explained UVa Professor John Quale, the project director. "The walls, the roof, the floor, and make them as super-insulated as possible. That really helps to reduce the amount of energy that you need to run the home."

This design is not just good for the environment. It is also good for the people moving in. The new residents will be low-income families helped by non-profit group, the Piedmont Housing Alliance. The design cuts down costs and last longer so families can live there longer.

"The people who are living here are going to be very concerned with their utility bills and maintenance costs, so we were very careful with all the material selections to make sure they didn't have to be maintained over time," said Quale.

The hi-tech homes contrast greatly with the house they are attached to, which is over 150 years old.

"It basically provides the story of affordable housing for African Americans in Charlottesville," Quale said. "We are not sure exactly when and how it was built, but it is conceivable that it was built as a slave quarters."

Starting in the fall, when the families move in, new history will be made.

ecoMOD is a multi-year project at the UVa School of Architecture. Students and faculty are designing and building several of these housing units over the next several years.

The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.


powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 9151031