Application of the Abstract: Making Sustainable and Solar Design a Reality through LEAFHouse
Gardner, Amy E.
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'Sustainability' and 'green design' are two terms that have become more common in both professional practice and architectural education. They are merely abstract terms however; concepts which many students find difficult to grasp at a high enough level for thorough implementation in a design project. As a result, sustainable and solar techniques become more of an afterthought, giving students a cursory, at best, understanding of the principles, preventing an understanding of how to implement the principles. Reflecting on the process, product, challenges and achievements of both the 2007 Solar Decathlon team and the LEAFHouse, this thesis posits the importance of hands-on, interdisciplinary design and construction work for the understanding and implementation of sustainable techniques and solar technologies. In addition, it suggests a change in the way that the built environment is conceived, designed and constructed, through the collaboration of practitioners and industry professionals from a range of disciplines.