New Jersey Institute of Technologystudent Edward Perez received first place in the Dana Knox Student Research Showcase for undergraduate students in April. His research poster, entitled: Porosity + Luminosity: A Storm-Resilient Precast Concrete Wall System Featuring Integrated Fiber-optic Lighting was received favorably by the Alumni Associates committee which called his work cutting edge. Perez's work was part of "Precast Studio" conducted by assistant professor Matthew Burgermaster in the NJIT school of architecture.
his project is a design prototype for a high-performance exterior envelope system that combines light-weight/high-strength precast concrete wall panels with integrated fiber optic strands to create a light-emissive, yet highly durable “perforated façade”. The prototype integrates these programmable fiber optics within the exterior wythe of an insulated architectural wall panel. This resilient building system is envisioned as a prototypical public “way-finding” and back-up lighting system for emergency uses in disaster-prone communities. This design research explored as both a ‘hands-on’ fabrication of prototypes and tested in a hypothetical test-case design application for a disaster relief center/emergency response center in coastal New Jersey.
The studio is offered in the fourth year as an option studio. After the first year, the studio proved so popular that a second class was added and the number of students in the program doubled.
During the second year of the program, students presented their findings on resilient design with precast to several community groups in areas affected by the storm.
“Post Hurricane Sandy, that has been a focus of the entire university and we have led the charge with that with our resilient design center. We have tried to find collaborators in the community to help with this,” says professor and team leader Matthew Burgermaster. “They help us envision new types of design and constructions solutions that might be useful to the marketplace.”