The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected a team led by Woodbury University's Arid Lands Institute for its “Drylands Resilience Initiative: Digital Tools for Sustainable Urban Design in Arid and Semi-Arid Urban Centers” to receive the 2015 Latrobe Prize.
The Latrobe Prize, named for architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, is awarded biennially by the AIA College of Fellows for a two-year program of research leading to significant advances in the architecture profession. The $100,000 award will enable the Arid Lands Institute (ALI) and its cross-disciplinary partners to further develop and test a proprietary digital design tool, known as “Hazel,” that eventually will enable arid communities anywhere to design and build the infrastructure needed to capture, retain and distribute stormwater runoff.
The technology builds on previous public and private sector funded research to maximize low-carbon localized water supply; shape water-smart urban planning, zoning and building policy; identify key sites for public and private investment; develop pilot projects that are scalable and replicable; build water-conversant design professions and support water-sensitive design education.
“The critical global issue of securing low-carbon and sustainable urban water supplies within arid urban centers affects billions of people around the world,” said David Cronrath, AIA, Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland and chair of the 2015 Latrobe Award Jury. “We were impressed with the overall research plan, the working partnerships that were part of the proposal, and the social justice that was at the center of the research. The Arid Lands Institute and its Drylands Resilience Initiative model a new way for design professions to partner with scientific and public policy communities to catalyze public imagination and action in the face of growing climate challenges.”
“The Drylands Resilience Initiative will test a tool which should enable engineers and architects to make more thoughtful decisions on the integration of stormwater capture and reuse in their projects. This aligns perfectly with the Bureau of Engineering’s goal of making Los Angeles the most livable city in the world through the use of sustainable design practices,” added Weintraub, AIA, City of Los Angeles Chief Deputy City Engineer.
Arid Lands Institute co-directors Peter Arnold and Hadley Arnold assembled and lead a team that includes Rowan Roderick-Jones, CSci, ENV SP, Associate, Water Systems Group, ARUP, San Francisco; Deborah Weintraub, AIA, LEED AP, Chief Deputy City Engineer, Bureau of Engineering, Department of Public Works, City of Los Angeles; Leigh Christy, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate Principal, Perkins+Will, Los Angeles and John Haymaker, AIA, Ph.D., LEED AP, Director of Research, Perkins+Will, Atlanta.
Members of the 2015 Latrobe Prize jury include: David Cronrath, AIA, Chair, University of Maryland; Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, Architect of the Capitol; Angela Brooks, FAIA, Brooks + Scarpa; Albert W. Rubeling, FAIA, Chancellor, AIA College of Fellows; Roger Schluntz, FAIA, University of New Mexico; Katherine Schwennsen, FAIA, Clemson University; John R. Sorrenti, FAIA, Vice Chancellor, AIA College of Fellows and Lawrence Speck, FAIA, University of Texas.
Press release via AIA