by Sydney Ditmar–
As an innovative campus, Virginia Tech has sponsored many new projects over the years, including the creation of the Futurehaus. This house was created in order to help discover a new and more efficient way to build homes that are both convenient and technologically advanced.
According to Futurehaus Virginia Tech Center for Design Research, the efficiency comes from the “cartridge” concept of the house which makes it easier to change out different components of the house, like cabinets, in order to fit the owner’s needs.
So what are the next steps for Futurehaus now that it has been created?
“After we take it to New York, we are going to take it down to the innovation campus in Alexandria to show it off for a few months and then after that it’s going back to Dubai for the Worlds Fair Expo in 2020,” said Will McRae, a Futurehaus team member and an architecture student at Virginia Tech.
After their win in Dubai back in 2018, which according to Builder Online included first place in two categories as well as top three in three other categories, more doors have opened up for the team in order to create concepts similar to Futurehaus, but for different purposes.
“We’ve been looking into disaster relief prototypes with FEMA, looking into developing a 300 unit housing unit in Virginia Beach with Pharrell Williams, which is pretty cool,” said Bobby Vance, the Visiting Instructor and Team Leader for the Futurehaus project.
Vance also described how the cartridge concept has really helped develop even more ideas beyond Futurehaus, including a SMART apartment complex that will be located on Virginia Tech’s Campus.
“We are now doing a new faculty apartment for a SMART dorm that is going up behind the Graduate Life Center,” said Vance.
This faculty dorm will include the cartridge concept as well, but these cartridges will be produced off campus and then brought on to campus and placed in each dorm unit depending on the faculty members needs.
Vance described these cartridge concepts as not only making renovations easier but accessibility easier as well. It allows homeowners to have more control over the space that they live in instead of having to constantly adjust to the permanent space they are stuck with.
“It is you taking ownership of that space,” said Vance.
The Futurehaus team is excited for what their future holds as more and more projects upon up for them to be a part of. They are changing the world, one house at a time.