UTSA student Shane Valentine wins award in BrickStainable design competition

Shane Valentine

UTSA student Shane Valentine

Share this Story

(April 22, 2011)--Think sustainability and you might think energy, electric cars and solar systems. But bricks?

That's what Shane Valentine thought about and as a result won honorable mention in the BrickStainable Integrated Building Design competition in Baltimore. The international competition challenges entrants to design clay masonry that will lead to an environmentally sustained way of heating and cooling a building.

"Being selected as one of four winning entries internationally has been a great honor and an unexpected win," said Valentine, adding that the honor is especially important because part of the design selection was based on how well it connected personally to the judges.

Valentine designed a net-zero-energy corporate building with clay masonry as the primary material. The building consisted of a series of brick frames that can convert the sun's energy into heat. A suspended trombe (sun-facing) wall of clay brick passively heats the building during winter, while geothermal cooling keeps the building comfortable during summer.

"Such an award at a national level shows that the UTSA College of Architecture, albeit a young college, is producing some of the nation's best new thought in regard to the build environment," said Candid Rogers, a lecturer who also runs one of the college's design studios where Valentine worked on his project.

An awards ceremony was March 31 in Washington, D.C., at the National Building Museum. More information on the competition and ceremony can be found at the BrickStainable Design Competition website.