Food, Energy, Shelter

Food, Energy, Shelter.

"Food, Energy, Shelter": A still from the film, of the UB GRoW Home - designed and built by students - rises behind Hayes Hall on the South Campus. The zero-energy solar dwelling returned to Buffalo after placing second in the top of the 2015 U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon.

The house of the future will likely take many forms. New materials, new construction techniques, and new in-home technologies will shape the spaces in which people live and the ways that they live. One form this might take is a radical pairing of high-tech energy-efficient design with a return to low-tech, at-home food production. To explore this concept, more than 450 students, faculty, staff, and partners designed and built the Garden, Relax, or Work (GRoW) Home, which finished second in the international 2015 Solar Decathlon. The GRoW Home broadens the view of what Buffalo's next generation of housing might be.

Visions and Works


An award-winning university project is returning home to South Campus. UB’s GRoW Home, a student-built solar home that traveled across the country to place atop the 2015 Solar Decathlon, is now being reassembled behind Hayes Hall.


With funding from National Science Foundation, two architecture and urban planning faculty members are studying the impacts of heat and cold in Tempe and Buffalo.


For Samina Raja and members of the Food Lab at UB, food systems planning is a pursuit of equity and social justice for the people who have long been disenfranchised by traditional planning—the poor, people of color, immigrants and refugees.


The School of Architecture and Planning’s Resilient Buildings Lab is at the helm of new research on how buildings in New York State will need to adapt to the changing climate.


Five-year grant extends research Raja has conducted in Buffalo and Western New York and deliver the tools of food system planning to 20 communities across the U.S.

Apply the planning process to the sustainable development of cities, suburbs, and rural areas. Develop environmental design solutions that restore natural resources; minimize the negative effects of human settlements on ecosystems; identify opportunities for landscape reclamation; and ethically mitigate the impact of environmental problems on human health and urban and regional systems.

New study led by Samina Raja, associate professor of urban and regional planning, outlines seven factors that led one of America’s poorest cities to embrace farming, urban chickens and more.


A recently published article by Hadas Steiner explores ecological influences on architecture in the postwar period.


Over one week in late May, teams of University at Buffalo students representing a range of fields —architecture and planning, engineering, public health, chemistry, computer science, pharmacy and management — put their heads together to develop actionable ideas to help solve this problem in two countries with critical need: India and Uganda.


Imagine an apartment tower that expands – and downsizes – in response to rapidly changing lifestyles. This off-the-charts smart building design has won UB architecture professor Jin Young Song first place in an international competition to consider design in the “self-evolving city.” 

The built and natural environment are a complex web of interconnected parts, constantly exchanging energy and resources. This group critically engages environmental systems and examine the role that architecture and urbanism play in harnessing and stewarding them.