The design process presents students, faculty and community members with a unique opportunity to learn from previous examples, while at the same time outlining and executing proposals for housing units that seek to improve the quality of prefabricated design. The collaborative process is iterative and multi-faceted. The participants are required to synthesize complex information, and effectively collaborate to make decisions.
Each ecoMOD team has the opportunity to build the prototype they design. The goal is to not only provide our affordable housing partners—Piedmont Housing Alliance and Habitat for Humanity—with actual homes, but to expand on that opportunity to test prefabrication as a workable solution for the lack of well-designed affordable housing in the U.S. The Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity is the community partner for ecoMOD.
Once the design and construction phases of a conventional house are finished, a project is generally considered complete. One of the goals of ecoMOD is not only to fabricate housing units, but also to evaluate the result. This kind of critical feedback loop is unusual in architecture and engineering education (and the professional world for that matter), and is part of what distinguishes this project from many others.