UO professor develops energy-smart awning

UO professor develops energy-smart awning

NEXT-CONCEPT
GRAPHICS BY AMBER TAYLOR
Three years ago, Ihab Elzeyadi, an associate professor at the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture, got so irritated by how badly green technology was integrated into existing buildings that he decided to do something about it. The result is an awning that generates and saves enough electricity that buildings using it could potentially have zero net energy consumption. The aluminum awning holds photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity, which is then used throughout the building. A reflective light shelf on the awning redirects daylight into the building, further reducing electricity needs; LED lighting underneath the awning provides nighttime illumination. A prototype was attached to a UO building last summer, and data from it shows the awning could pay for itself after five years. Elzeyadi hopes to commercialize the awning within two years. “This could become the future of bricks and mortars,” he says. 
AMANDA WALDROUPE