School of Architecture Grand Winner at Race to Zero Student Design Competition

For the past four years the Prairie View A&M University School of Architecture has entered a team in the highly competitive Department of Energy Race to Zero Competition. We are honored to announce that PVAMU SOA has for the second time won both the Grand Award for the best project in the entire competition as well as 1st Place in the Urban Single Family category. The Prairie View “Mod Squad” team rose to the top amongst 84 teams representing 68 collegiate institutions from nine countries. The team was led by Shannen Martin (BS Architecture) and included Kristen Clark (BS Mechanical Engineering), Aaron Farray (BS Architecture), Kennia Lopez (BS Architecture), Noah Perkins (BS Architecture), Cynthia Suarez-Harris (BS Architecture & Construction Science), Shelby Skinner (BS Architecture), Ledell Thomas (BS Architecture & Construction Science), and Kaylay Wesley (BS Architecture). The faculty leads were Shelly Pottorf (Assistant Professor of Practice), April Ward (Assistant Professor of Practice), and Shannon Bryant (Shop Supervisor). The project, entitled “The Fly Flat,” addresses environmental, economic and social resilience by providing net zero energy, hurricane ready, affordable infill housing for the Independence Heights neighborhood in Houston. The team achieves these goals through a modular system designed to be built by students in our new Fabrication Laboratory as soon as funding becomes available. The project further utilizes community partners to envision the use of a land trust to ensure long-term affordability. Finally, the innovative fly roof system over each home is designed to house a community solar co-op that has the potential to power every home in the neighborhood. The project caught the hearts and minds of the jury of industry experts, as the team envisioned a home that residents would be rescued to, not from. The team will now go on to present the project at the Humid Climate Conference, the ASHRAE Annual Conference (in conjunction with the DoE), HOK-Houston, and the Passive House Institute U.S. Annual Conference, with more to come.

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