UO’s green efforts are no facade. Or are they?

Ihab Elzeyadi is using his green architecture expertise to create facades that utilize solar materials.

Ihab Elzeyadi is using his green architecture expertise to create facades that utilize solar materials.

A University of Oregon architecture professor has found a way to make building facades utilitarian.

Ihab Elzeyadi's Facade Integrated Technologies endeavor is developing solar-awnings systems at the school's Onyx Bridge building. Elzeyadi's work has yielded an "envelope" on the south-facing facade that's wired with sensors that measure light intensity, solar radiation, temperatures, wind speed, acoustics and shading effects.

The awning aims to harvest natural light and energy. Elzeyadi plans to use the demonstration to analyze how building designs and systems affect their occupants.

The FIT work will also study new facade technologies, such as glazing and fenestration materials and green wall panels.

The facade facility is part of the school's High Performance Environments Lab that Elzeyadi founded in 2008. The HiPE Lab is a signature research facility of the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center, which helped back the FIT facility's construction.

Elseyadi is also a member in good standing of the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium.

“This is yet another example of how Oregon’s universities and businesses are working together to advance our state’s leadership position in cleantech innovation for the sustainable built environment," said David Kenney, Oregon BEST's president and executive director.

FIT is making itself available to building industry pros, on a fee-for-service basis, who want to test their own energy-saving ideas.

“We are now at the stage of getting the word out to attract commercialization partners or people who want to test how their technologies are performing,” Elzeyadi said. “We are offering our expertise to help in the design of new facades.”

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