Have you ever wanted to safe the environment by reducing the energy demand of the built environment? Imagine a building that has almost no impact to the environment during building operation and construction. This is what we are working on.

A decade ago, our team developed the energetic concept for the 22/26 building in Austria. The award winning 22/26 is the first office building in the cold climate that provides human comfort and indoor air quality without using conventional heating, cooling and mechanical ventilation systems. Its name derives from the fact that the room temperature is controlled to be between 22 and 26 degree Celsius (72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit) around the year. The heart of the concept is the newly developed demand responsive building automation system that controls the natural ventilation openings. The building was realized in the year 2013. Intensive research on the 22/26 building has been done (including long time measurements and occupant surveys). The research on the 22/26 continues with the goal to apply the technology to other building types and to bring it to Michigan.

The UARTS Faculty Engineering/Arts Student Team (FEAST) is going to investigate strategies to bring the 22/26 building technology to Michigan. Pathways will be explored to adjusted the technology to the local climate and to the locally prevailing building construction techniques. The student teams will produce prototypes, develop control algorithms and apply sensor technologies. Young student research will have the opportunity to be involved in scientific publication writing.

Following research will be targeted:

  • Development and testing of building material that provides sufficient thermal mass in the building internal so that the energy demand for heating, cooling and dehumidification is significantly reduced. It also should provide a good room climate and indoor air quality. The material should be cost effective, easy to implement and have a low carbon footprint. Prototypes will be developed and tested.
  • Improvement of a building automation system that integrates the latest developments in building technology. This task allows students to learn computer languages and to apply sensor/controller technologies. Prototypes will be developed and tested.

The team will have opportunities to work with:

  • Sustainable building materials
  • Sustainable building technology
  • Prototyping – Sensor/Controller
  • Python programming
  • AI application

Meeting Details
Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, after 4pm
Modality: Virtual/hybrid (interested in the project but unable to be on campus? Contact us to inquire!)

Students apply to a specific role on team as follows:

Building Component Designer (2 Students)

Preferred Skills: Develop a building component that provides sufficient thermal mass into the internal of buildings made of light timber constructions. Students interested in this program should be open minded, interested in design strategies and sustainability. Knowledge will be gained in: literature research, design of building components, sustainability of building material, material science, development of prototypes, testing of physical properties of the material, evaluation of research data, and scientific paper writing.

Likely Majors/Minors: ARCH, CE, EARTH, ENVIRON, ME, MSE

Building Automation & Control (2 Students)

Preferred Skills: Improve and develop building automation systems. The students will learn how to program and apply sensor and controller systems. We will use platforms like the Raspberry Pi and the Home Assistant environment. Opportunities to apply Artificial Intelligence are given for students with previous basic knowledge (sk-learn). Students should be open minded and interested in control environments and sustainability. Knowledge will be gained in: literature research, development of building automation (by using Raspberry Pi, Home Assistant, etc.), sustainability of building technologies, automation and control (basics), development of prototypes (control environments), testing of building automation systems, evaluation of research data, and scientific paper writing.

Likely Majors/Minors: ARCH, CE, CEE, EE, ROB

Building Simulation & Modeling (2 Students)

Preferred Skills: Students in this program will learn about sustainable building technology. The main focus is in thermal dynamic building simulation and building modeling. Students with basic knowledge in fluid dynamics will have the opportunity to apply Computer based Fluid Dynamic simulations CFD. Students interested in this program should be open minded and interested in computer based simulation environments and sustainability. Knowledge will be gained in: literature research, design and development of building models for building simulations, application of building simulation tools (software available at U-M), sustainability of building technologies, fluid dynamics (basics to understand simulations), evaluation of research data, and scientific paper writing.

Likely Majors/Minors: ARCH, CEE, CS, EE, ME

Faculty Project Leads

Lars Junghans is an associate professor of architecture at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. His research is focused on the development of high-performance buildings with a comprehensive view of all aspects of the building’s thermal behavior, including passive design, active strategies, and renewable energy systems. His research aims to find holistic optimal solutions for the challenges of buildings in different climate zones. His interdisciplinary research work includes aspects of building automation, economics, statistics, design optimization, and building physics. Further research work includes the development of economic feasible net-zero emission buildings. Lars biggest impact to the built environment is the development of the “22/26”, a building that does not require any mechanical heating, cooling or ventilation system. Several “22/26” buildings have been realized in Europe. Lars Junghans gained extensive practical engineering experience in European Architecture and Engineering firms, that are known for the planning of high-profile architectural projects.

Lars is convinced that future research and teaching in architecture and architectural engineering needs to focus on the consolidation of Sustainability and Affordability to overcome existing problems in the larger society.

Students: 6

Likely Majors/Minors: ARCH, CE, CEE, CS, EARTH, EE, ENVIRON, ME, MSE, ROB

Meeting Details: Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday late afternoons

Application: Consider including a link to your portfolio or other websites in the personal statement portion of your application to share work you would like considered as part of your submission.

Summer Opportunity: Summer research fellowships may be available for qualifying students.

Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students on campus.

IP/NDA: Students who successfully match to this project team will be required to sign an Intellectual Property (IP) Agreement prior to participation.

Course Substitutions: CoE Honors