John Quale initiated and serves as project director for the ecoMOD project, and its sister initiative, the ecoREMOD project. ecoMOD is a multi-year research and design / build / evaluate project at the School of Architecture, in partnership with the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science. Interdisciplinary ecoMOD teams create sustainable, prefabricated housing units for affordable housing organizations. Thus far, ecoMOD has created six affordable housing units for Habitat for Humanity and Piedmont Housing Alliance, and ecoREMOD has renovated three housing units for the City of Charlottesville, and Falmouth Heritage Renewal in Falmouth, Jamaica. Through a recent $2.45 million grant, ecoMOD is partnering with affordable housing organizations in Southside and Southwestern Virginia to create a total of four new high performance housing units for Southside Outreach and People Incorporated. The goal is to use the opportunity to support economic development by helping the Southside industrialized housing companies to gear up to provide ecoMOD and similar housing throughout the region. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission has provided the funding.
ecoMOD was a finalist for the 2009 U.N. World Habitat Award, and the recipient of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Excellence in Green Building Curriculum Award. It has also been recognized by the AIA Committee on the Environment (AIA COTE) as one of a few exemplary sustainable design curriculum initiatives in the country. In 2007 the ecoMOD project received the NCARB Grand Prize For Creative Integration Of Practice And Education In The Academy, the AIA Education Honor Award and the ACSA Collaborative Practice Award – the first time an initiative received all three in the same year.