The AIA has awarded four applied-research projects representing collaboration among higher education and architectural practices in its 2015 Upjohn Research Initiative. Now in its ninth year, the latest iteration of the program distributes a total of $100,000 among the winners as 18-month-long grants. The AIA declined to provide a breakdown of the funding per project. Submissions were judged through a blind peer review. Previous winners include daylighting for Alzheimer’s care facilities, dynamic building skins, and new ways to model energy consumption in residential spaces.

Learn more about each of this year’s four winning projects below.

Auto-Shading Windows: Smart Thermobimetal Solar Blinds”
Principal investigator: Doris Sung, AIA, founder at DOSU Studio Architecture, in Rolling Hills, Calif.
Objective: Explore the use of thermobimetals through a net-zero-energy window prototype that will block up to 90 percent of sunlight entering a building while retaining views throughout the day.

“Building Resilience: A Tool for Planning & Decision-making”
Principal investigator: David Fannon, AIA, assistant professor at Northeastern University College of Arts, Media and Design's School of Architecture, in Boston.
Objective: Develop a Web-based tool to evaluate and compare building upgrades for resilience and sustainability, including the technical and socio-ecological performance, energy consumption, and life cycle impacts.

“Clothesline Sunpower: PV Papeles”
Principal investigator: Kristina Yu, AIA, architect at McClain + Yu Architecture and Design, in Albuquerque, N.M., and an associate professor at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University in New Mexico, in Albuquerque
Objective: Improve the design of the investigator’s solar power collecting microelectronic photovoltaic (MEPV) taut mechanical shade to create a simple yet functional, temporary MEPV system.

“Point-of-Decision Design to Support Healthy Behaviors in the College Campuses”
Principal investigators: Upali Nanda, Assoc. AIA, executive director at HKS Architects' Center for Advanced Design Research and Evaluation, in Dallas, and Michelle Eichinger, president of Designing4Health
Objective: Develop a point-of-decision design guide and analysis tool to facilitate healthy food choices on college and university campuses to improve students’ mental and physical well-being and to reduce the related cases of obesity.

This article has been updated to clarify that these are the 2015 award winners.