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Architecture Student Places in Top Two in Competition

Andrew Stevens, a master’s student in the OU College of Architecture, placed in the top two in a national student design competition.

Andrew Stevens, a master’s degree student in the University of Oklahoma College of Architecture, placed in the top two in the nation in a recent student design competition.

For his win in the 2011-2012 Architecture & Engineering of Sustainable Buildings Student Design Competition, Stevens received a $2,000 cash prize. Additionally, his faculty sponsor, Lee Fithian, received a $500 prize.

Stevens originally designed the project for his spring 2012 studio class. The initial task was to develop a plan to reinvigorate the City of Norman’s civic complex, including the Norman Public Library. Due to the close proximity of Norman municipal buildings to popular parks, city attractions and growing festivals, a vote to move the library away from this central downtown location failed, leading to the Graduate Studio project Reinventing Norman’s Civic Complex.

“The Graduate Studio focus is on regenerative architecture, and we utilized the Open Challenge Program as a vehicle to explore and promote these sustainability challenges in an urban framework that promulgated the leadership role of municipal government and services, reinforcing the sense of place that can be accomplished through civic architecture,” said Fithian, College of Architecture graduate studio associate professor.

After an intensive period of study and analysis, the students were tasked with master planning the entire Civic Complex. The master plan had to address multiple challenges, including aggregating the individual buildings to share resources with regard to energy and water usage, as well as strengthening the link to community festivals and events by leveraging its unique location. When the civic master plan was completed, each student was required to further develop an individual building. The design development then was used to test conceptual targets, respond to program, code, planned zoning, function, net-zero energy, LEED Platinum certification and water catchment.

Stevens’ top-two score in the competition highlights the college’s emphasis on sustainability and sustainable building methods, Fithian said.

For more information about the College of Architecture’s commitment to environmental responsibility, visit the Gould Hall Green Initiative at ghgi.ou.edu.