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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


University of Arizona architecture hits national stage

The UA College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, on the heels of national recognition for its zero-budget sustainability plaza, is offering sustainability and architecture summer courses.

The college’s water collection system, an 11,000-gallon, four-story water silo, and its reuse of brick from its old building were featured in a 10-page article in Landscape Architecture magazine in January.

“”Why break down someone else’s mountain when we have our own?”” said Ronald Stoltz, associate dean and director of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture of the utilization of sustainability in building.

Displaying the college’s tenets of teaching was important in designing the building, materials lab and garden.

“”Our building is designed so that students could learn just by looking,”” said Patricia Coyne-Johnson, director of development and marketing at the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. “”We’ve been sustainability focused for 30 years, but we just never told anyone about it. So now we’re just telling people what we’re already up to.””

With one of the largest materials labs and a nationally ranked program, the college thought it was a good idea to begin spreading the sustainability message to other parts of campus. The best way to do this was through summer school coursework, said Coyne-Johnson.

One offering for architecture and non-architecture students is TRAD 104, called Sonora: A Description of Place in Arid America, a course offered in summer session II which satisfies one of the college’s requirements. The course provides students with a sense of place, engaging both the United States and Mexico, while presenting a vision of obligation to preservation of the places where many people live, such as the Sonoran Desert.

This is one of five classes in the college’s summer program called the Design and Sustainable Environment Series. It contains two summer classes in the Arizona in Orvieto program in Italy, an upper division elective credit, ARC 461k/561k, called Special Projects in Architecture: Fundamentals of Energy and the Environment, and a TRAD 103 called Architecture and Society.

Meghan Sarkozi, a fourth-year architecture student, has taken the Architecture and Society class and notes that the architecture department works, in every class, to stress sustainability and a broader world view.

“”It gives you a new way of thought,”” Sarkozi said. “”You learn all these new things about buildings. It expands your whole sense of being.””

Sarkozi said even for those outside of the College of Architecture, there is a distinct benefit to accessing the knowledge presented in some of these classes.

“”Sustainability plays a huge part in the trend of architecture,”” she said. “”It’s more than just having solar panels or a water wall.””

To Sarkozi, sustainability is not just a trend in the College of Architecture but a vital piece of how the college approaches what students are learning and the projects they will eventually build.

“”If you have a sustainable building, able to rely on itself, it’s so much more than just a building,”” Sarkozi said.

Students can access more information about the classes and speak with architecture faculty and staff at a tour of the building with refreshments on Thursday.

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