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UH Architecture Program Earns Mayor's Proud Partner AwardGraduate Design/Build Studio Recognized for Solar-Powered Gardening Classroom

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October 23, 2012-Houston-

Summer time is work time for the University of Houston’s Graduate Design/Build Studio (UH GDBS). Each year, the studio’s students brave Houston’s heat to help enhance the city’s landscape.

By designing and constructing useful community amenities, UH GDBS has helped local schools, parks, and nonprofit organizations. This year was no different as the studio produced a solar-powered outdoor classroom/butterfly pavilion for Alief’s community garden.

Their hard work received a “green” thumbs up from the community and soon will be presented with the Mayor’s Proud Partner Award by Keep Houston Beautiful. The award honors projects that enhance and beautify the city. UH architecture professor Patrick Peters and GDBS students will accept the award during the 28th annual Mayor’s Proud Partners Awards luncheon at noon; Oct. 29 at the Houston Hilton Post Oak Hotel.

This steel, shade structure will be welcomed to the community Nov. 10 during a ribbon-cutting event. With solar-powered ceiling fans, the pavilion will provide community members with a place to cool off, as well as a perfect space for educational demonstrations on planting, cooking, vegetables and other topics.

The garden and classroom site are located across the street from Youngblood Intermediate School (at Beechnut Street and Dairy View Lane) on property owned by Alief Independent School District. Once completed, the school can use the classroom for outdoor activities.

Houston’s SPARK School Park Program funded the project with support from Alief Independent School District, Alief International District and Coca-Cola. Other collaborators include architect Christof Spieler and Tolunay-Wong Engineers Inc.

Another UH project received an honorable mention from Keep Houston Beautiful. A solar-powered outdoor demonstration kitchen that was designed by UH architecture and graphic communication students was recognized by this awards program.

For additional details on the project and how it was developed, view the original press release.

GDBS is part of UH’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture. Past community projects include a solar shade tree for McReynolds Middle School and an amphitheater classroom for T.H. Rogers School. To learn more about GDBS, visit http://www.uh.edu/gdbs/.

The Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a variety of disciplines including architecture, space architecture, interior architecture and industrial design. Faculty members include esteemed professionals in the architectural community, as well as award-winning academic veterans. Facilities include studio spaces, the new Materials Research Collaborative, computer labs and the Burdette Keeland Jr. Design Exploration Center. To learn more about the college, visit http://www.arch.uh.edu/.

Outdoor Classroom