Trustees of MBI's US Foundation Vote to Support Virginia Tech Research on Modular Construction
In a unanimous vote, the board of trustees of the MBI Educational Foundation (US) approved a $10,000 grant to support modular construction research at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Professor Joe Wheeler, AIA, serves as co-director of the Center for Design Research at Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture and presented trustees with a proposal to build prototype modules for the Chicago Southworks development that includes 13,500 single family residences and 17,500,000 square feet of commercial space. Professor Wheeler is already familiar with the greener, faster, smarter attributes of modular construction having led three teams to the US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, his most recent team having won first place at the 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe in Madrid, Spain as well as receiving a 2012 award for architecture from the American Institute of Architects.
As for his Chicago Southworks research, to help disseminate findings directly to MBI members Professor Wheeler and his team will provide four whitepapers on innovative structural modular frames, optimal assembly line processes, optimal design tools and software for use in modular construction, and the ability of modular construction to deliver high-performance buildings. Deliverables also include exhibitions at national venues like the AIA annual convention; numerous articles, videos, and teaching resources; and the potential to have states adopt prototype modules as a preapproved assemblies. In addition to research, as an integrated academic/teaching effort a long-term deliverable will be engaging students and architects.
The project will eventually cost over $500,000 in cash and in-kind donations. In addition to MBI, Professor Wheeler has commitments from Mark Line Industries, Jenn Air, Samsung, Plain & Fancy Cabinets, Lutron, Kohler, Sylvania, Corning Glass, and others. If you are interested in partnering with Virginia Tech on this research project, contact Steven Williams at 888-811-3288.
Started on July 22, 2014 by Steven Williams