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Architects and Adhesives- A Perspective on Designing the House of the Future

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The FutureHAUS research proposes the future of how we will build and how we will live in the digital age. The research team proposes that in the future homes will be manufactured much like cars and will fully engage CNC processes for fabrication. The industrialized process provides the quality control necessary to integrate advanced smart technologies in homes but also improves efficiency in the construction process. The team also explores the future of smart technology in the home and how we will ultimately interface with it. The presentation will provide an overview of this research and address how, in the proposed prefabrication and manufacturing process, adhesives are becoming the "hardware" of the future. 



  • How the manufacturing process of homes will change
  • Transport of the modular units requires a different adhesive challenges
  • The efficiency of a new Smart home and how to interface with it


Expert Presenter:


Joe Wheeler – Professor of Architecture, Co-Director, Center for Design Research

Joe Wheeler is a professor of architecture at Virginia Tech, co-director of the university's Center for Design Research, and a globally recognized innovator in the areas of housing industrialization, environmental sustainability, and technology integration. As leader of Virginia Tech's FutureHAUS project, Wheeler has spent over a decade helping student researchers and industry, government, and academic partners explore solutions to the world's global housing challenges.

Through FutureHAUS, Wheeler guides students in applied research that also engages industry partners in how to make homes more smart, efficient, affordable, and sustainable to meet the needs of the world's diverse, fast-growing population. His areas of expertise include smart home technology; the use of modular and industrialized processes in homebuilding; energy efficiency and green innovation in homebuilding; housing accessibility for diverse age groups and aging populations; and the engineering of "flex spaces" for smaller homes that still deliver on occupants' needs.

Wheeler's teaching and research has long focused on the areas of environmental and sustainable design. He has lead Virginia Tech's interdisciplinary Solar Decathlon projects in 2005, 2009 and 2010 and 2018 to build the world's best solar home. The 2010 Virginia Tech entry, Lumenhaus, won first place overall in the international competition in Madrid, Spain, as well as the first national Honor Award for a university from the American Institute of Architects. Most recently, further validating his future building concept, his FutureHAUS Dubai won first place overall in the 2018 Solar Decathlon Middle East.

In 2016 he was received the HIVE 100 Award as one of the top innovators in housing in the country by Builder Magazine. Other awards include a national design honor award from the AIA, the NCARB Prize for creative collaboration between the academy and the profession, the Virginia Society AIA Research Prize, and the Xcaliber University Prize for Excellence in Outreach. He has offered testimony before Congress regarding national energy issues and worked with U.S. international government agencies on issues of sustainability, affordable housing, disaster relief, and modular construction. 

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