Sustainable architecture project receives grant funding

December 2, 2008

A collaborative research project involving three faculty members from Cornell University's Department of Architecture has recently received a grant from the university's new sustainability center. The Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future (CCSF) announced that $140,000 of its Academic Venture Fund awards will go to Integrated Digital Design Environment for Sustainable Architecture over the next 18 months.

The team architecture faculty members Professor Don Greenberg, Assistant Professor Kevin Pratt, and Visiting Assistant Professor Dana Cupkova along with Professor Ken Torrance of the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering will develop interactive visual and analytic digital tools to help architects model and test sustainable and energy-efficient designs at the early stage of the design process. In their project proposal, the team described the problem and solution this way: Today, the design and analysis of sustainable buildings requires an unprecedented degree of technical sophistication that demands a new synthesis of art and technology to integrate architectural form finding and environmental analysis in a seamless three dimensional digital environment.

"The CCSF funding will serve to develop and extend the computational tools necessary to further design work that is focused on a better understanding of architecture as an environmental practice, which Kevin [Pratt] and I have been investigating in our architectural research design studios," said Cupkova. "The CCSF grant, through a close collaboration with Professor Greenberg and the Program of Computer Graphics, will provide access to the programming expertise necessary to enable architectural designers to gain insight into consequences of design decisions in a particular ecology and thus inform our preliminary design and form finding." 

CCSFs Academic Venture Fund has been designed to stimulate new, original, cross-disciplinary research at Cornell in sustainability science, emphasizing work having the potential to involve external partners such as industry, government, foundations, and NGOs.

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