Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design, in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, has been ranked No. 1. It offers the nation’s best undergraduate architecture program, according to the Design Futures Council and the journal DesignIntelligence. The school's graduate program has been ranked fifth in the nation and first of all public universities, as well.
The rankings reflect the results of a survey targeting design partners, managing principals, and human resource directors in firms that have direct experience with the hiring and performance of architecture graduates. Collectively these firms employ more than 100,000 individuals.
The rankings follow a year of successful activity in the school including honors, innovative collaborations, and research. CHICAGO STUDIO, an undergraduate fourth-year studio option, offered exclusively by Virginia Tech, has received one of six National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) prizes for its integrated set of courses that situate students in Chicago architecture firms for six weeks of a semester.
The school recently won an NCARB Honorable Mention for the Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy for its role in creating the Virginia Tech Solar House for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. Students from multiple disciplines were an integral part of the team, from design conception to construction. This NCARB win marks the third time in the past four years that Virginia Tech has been honored in the competition, becoming the only school in the nation to win three NCARB honors.
The school is also collaborating with the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, located in Winchester, Va., on a new building. The 30,000-square-foot museum will include innovative, environmentally sustainable systems. This collaborative agreement provides research opportunities for faculty in the School of Architecture + Design and Virginia Tech's Myers-Lawson School of Construction.
A National Science Foundation-funded project in the School of Architecture + Design will allow the establishment of a Vibration Testing Laboratory, which will house a two-story steel structure to be used for various studies related to building vibration serviceability issues. The lab will test structural effects of architectural elements such as partitions, raised flooring, and suspended ceilings, in addition to the presence of occupants on the dynamic performance of building floors.
One excitation will be the influence of human structure interaction; the other will be a study on the effects of non-structural building elements, such as mechanical ducts, suspended ceilings, raised flooring, and cantilevered and full-height partitions on the response of floors subject to human activities.
Faculty and students lead and participate in projects that garner national and international recognition, and take major strides for the university in outreach endeavors:
For more information on this topic, e-mail Heather Riley Chadwick, or call (540) 231-2108.
The School of Architecture + Design regularly features exhibitions of student work.
This exhibition, which was displayed last spring in the lobby of Cowgill Hall, is an example of a formal study in material explorations.
In its newest issue, Architect Magazine features the School of Architecture + Design.
School of Architecture + Design faculty and staff
A wide variety of semester-long and summer study abroad programs provide diverse learning experiences for students.
Virginia Tech's Center for European Studies and Architecture is in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland.
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