CEAE Professor Wangda Zuo teaches the Sustainable Building Design course (AREN4890/5890). To stimulate students’ interests, a real-world project was successfully identified as they partnered with Boulder Housing Partner (BHP). BHP recently raised $13M to develop the Phase II of Red Oak Park Community in Boulder to provide additional 41 affordable housing units into the existing Red Oak Park Community developed in Phase I. The course project objective was to develop a sustainable design for this affordable housing community project. The BHP representatives provided them first-hand project information, showed the project site, shared the successful stories and lessons learned from the Phase I project, and served as external judgers for the students’ design.
Students got very excited about the possibility of making real-world impact on the disadvantaged community via their course project. Professor Wangda Zuo said.
Throughout the semester, the students performed several analyses to help inform sustainable design directions for the buildings. These analyses included climate assessments, studying the wind flow across the project site through computational fluid dynamics, developing energy models for the buildings, and evaluating construction costs. They not only looked at how buildings can be designed to consume less energy and use less toxic materials, but also how buildings can affect the health and well-being of people. Students were also continuously challenged by real-world problems, such as compliance of local building code, parking requirement, constrains in budget, availability of utility and public transportation, and specific needs of residents.
This collaboration project was a special opportunity to apply the knowledge we learned in class to a real community.” said Katy Hinkelman, one of the students who took the course in fall 2018. “It is rare that students get to work on real projects such as this, and it was a privilege to share our work with Boulder Housing Partners.
Collaboration projects like this show how academia and industry has the potential to symbiotically help our communities grow and learn.
2018 Red Oak Park Site Visit AREN 4890-5890 Project Presentation