North House has been awarded a 2010 R&D Award by Architect Magazine. These jury-selected awards are based on criteria of performance, aesthetics, and progressive thinking. The writeup for the award focuses on the Adaptive Living Interface System (though the interactive systems are misattributed to the University of Waterloo rather than SFU – students and faculty from Waterloo were responsible for the architecture and engineering of North House, while our team undertook the interactive design). From the article:
Any architect pursuing LEED points knows that the actions of the occupant can have more impact on a building’s energy performance than any single technology, so the student design team from the University of Waterloo concentrated on developing a building management system—called the Adaptive Living Interface System (ALIS)—that is both easy to use and informative. The program collects data and monitors energy use and production, water use, and indoor and outdoor environmental conditions. This information can be accessed via a Web-based application that parses the data and can track patterns over months or years.
Since changes can be made and monitored in real time, touchscreen panels are integrated throughout the house and translate information into a dollar figure of savings or expenditures for the day. And to make monitoring simple, the design team based the system on open-source calendar and social networking softwares that are easy to use and require no new learned skills. It was this level of integration that intrigued juror Cristobal Correa. “They looked at all the systems and they talk about the user. It’s very important for these things to actually interact with the user—this house is like a living thing,” he said.
The 2010 awards are published in the August issue of the print magazine, and the article on North House is available online at http://www.architectmagazine.com/green-design/2010-rd-awards-north-house-responsive-envelope-prototyping.aspx. Way to go Team North!