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Nov 13 2012

SodaBIB Project Named Finalist for National Award

sodaBIB roof

Old Westbury, N.Y  (November 13, 2012)  ̶  New York Institute of Technology’s SodaBIB water bottle roofing project is gaining national exposure with its recent selection as a finalist for an award from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

The project, which would use crushed water bottles to form shingles of a roof for shelters in disaster-stricken or developing nations, has garnered more than 225 “likes” on the USGBC’s Facebook page devoted to its Volunteer Impact Award. The project with the most “likes” by Wednesday, November 14 will be announced later this week at the organization’s GREENBUILD conference in San Francisco, billed as the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building.

“It’s great that a venue such as this one would give us the platform to share our research and our intentions of moving forward,” said Farzana Gandhi, an assistant professor in the School of Architecture and Design and member of the SodaBIB project team. “It would give us the momentum that we’re looking for, not only to jumpstart fundraising and grant opportunities but to give us a platform to receive feedback from all across the country.”

The project team has worked for more than a year to refine the roofing design. They hope to construct a full-scale model of the roof and shelter on the Old Westbury campus and are raising funds for the project with a Kickstarter campaign that ends Thursday. Gandhi and colleagues, Associate Professor Michele Bertomen and Assistant Professor Jason Van Nest, also launched a robust social media campaign with students, using Twitter, Facebook, and blogging platforms to generate publicity and interest in the project.

The on-campus model would be used to demonstrate the efficacy of the roofing system, and to generate interest among manufacturers of the pallets that are used to deliver water bottles around the world. Those pallets, if designed and manufactured as the team proposes, would form the foundation for the water bottle “shingles” of the shelter roof.

Prior to Hurricane Sandy on October 29th, the team noted the large amount of water bottles ready for delivery to affected areas.

“This is exactly the kind of single-use delivery we hope to change,” the team wrote on its fundraising page, noting that one pallet had enough bottles to create a roof for a 220-square-foot shelter.

“As the effects of climate change bring stronger storms, it will displace more and more of the global population,” the team wrote days after Hurricane Sandy. “We hope to make a difference in these situations.”


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New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
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