North Dakota University System
A-Z Index
Access. Innovation. Excellence.
Colleges & Universities Academics & Activities State Board of Higher Education North Dakota University System News Reports & Information
Business & Industry
Printer Friendly Page You are here
NDUS Home  |  News  |  Campus Happenings

NDSU architecture students to display design at Minnesota State Fair

Posted on 8/15/2011

Fourteen North Dakota State University architecture and landscape architecture students will have a big audience for their first-ever design build project this month - approximately 300,000 Minnesota State Fairgoers.

The students have designed and are constructing a four-person, energy efficient cabin as an exhibit for the Eco-Experience section of the fair. The goal is to educate fairgoers about state-of-the-art concepts in energy efficiency in the built environment.

The cabin, also called the Passive House cabin, is suited to a NorthernMinnesota climate and can be heated by the energy equivalent of nine light bulbs. It makes use of many "free" passive heat sources such as heat generated by its occupants, waste heat from appliances, passive heat from the earth and heat from the sun.

"Our goal was to research, analyze, design and build a beautiful, low-energy structure that meets the Passive House performance criteria, on a mid-market construction budget," said Malini Srivastava, adjunct architecture instructor who leads the Design Build Studio. "This design also takes into consideration carbon implications and resource use analysis, as a step toward achieving a sustainable, efficient and affordable goal."

While the project is an educational exhibit for fairgoers, it also has provided an invaluable long-term, hands-on learning experience for the students. "The students have demonstrated immense creativity and spirit of innovation under very restrictive budget and strict performance goals," Srivastava said.

It also has allowed students to develop strengths in various roles such as project manager, architect, fundraiser, accountant, interior designer, drafter, contractor, builder, web designer and graphics designer.

The Design Build Studio's cabin is the first Passive House to be built and demonstrated at the fair, according to Srivastava. This also is the first time that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has invited a student group to participate in the Eco-Experience, a major annual event concerningenergy education.

After the fair, the structure will either be moved to a permanent location or dismantled and repurposed for other uses.

To see the ongoing progress on the house, visit For more information, contact

The Minnesota State Fair is scheduled for Aug. 25-Sept. 5.

Bismarck State CollegeDakota College at BottineauDickinson State UniversityLake Region State CollegeMayville State UniversityMinot State UniversityNorth Dakota State College of ScienceNorth Dakota State UniversityUniversity of North DakotaValley City State UniversityWilliston State College
Contact Us  |   Privacy Policy  |   Disclaimer  |   Accessibility  |   Security Policy