College of Architecture launches 2nd annual ‘green’ exposition
The UH College of Architecture is on a mission to cater to the needs of a changing society, one where accessible and affordable sustainable living options are available to Houstonians striving to reduce their carbon footprint
by going green.
The second annual UH Green Building Components Expo, now open through Dec. 1, features a number of original projects that have been researched extensively and designed to fit into the emerging eco-friendly culture of the city.
“Houston is our lab,” said Patricia Oliver, dean of the UH College of Architecture. “And as far as we’re concerned, we want to be in that lab as much as possible.”
One of the projects showcased at the expo is the Solar-Powered Adaptive Container for Everyone, developed by UH Green Building Components and represents one of the first steps to integrating the University’s green initiative with that of the city’s.
SPACE, a recycled shipping container converted to an office or living space that is mobile, can withstand hurricane-force winds. It is powered by solar panels, which can power the building for as many as three to four days without sun.
UH recently won a bid for the City of Houston to purchase 25 of the buildings, which will be used for disaster relief, temporary shelter and other purposes.
The relationship between UH’s College of Architecture and the city is one that Houston’s sustainability director, Laura Spanjian, is looking forward to and one she said will be instrumental to facilitating the transition to a more environmentally friendly city.
“What a great partnership,” Spanjian said as she addressed the crowd of UH students and faculty at the Green Expo’s opening on Oct. 21. “We can add value by doing more research and by putting products on the market that help people because some of these things are still expensive. That is how Houston, and UH specifically, is going to add huge value to the sustainability movement over the next 30 years, and (UH is) at the cutting edge of that.”
This year’s Green Expo gives people an opportunity to see the progress made since the college’s first expo in 2009.
Oliver said she hopes the Green Expo continues to build every year and spotlight innovations made within the UH College of Architecture.
“The purpose of the expo is to talk about a very special relationship between architecture and industrial design, to produce components that reflect our values,” Oliver said. “(To) really be able to have our students understand that design can make a difference in the world.”