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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

MEDIA ADVISORY: Habitat Names Winners of Affordable Housing Design Competition on Dec. 14 at NJIT

WHAT: Habitat for Humanity Newark will announce the winners of an affordable townhouse design competition for Newark’s South Ward. A class of upper-level NJIT architecture students spent the past semester developing designs for affordable, green and sustainable multi-story and family attached townhouses. This event will name the winning designs. Next semester Habitat will subsidize internships for two winning student designers in a licensed architect’s office to help finalize plans. Construction is expected to begin by next September.

WHEN: Monday, Dec. 14, 2009 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: 7th Floor Loft at NJIT’s College of Architecture and Design, Summit and Warren streets, Newark.

WHO: NJIT students (13) and their designs; architecture professor Darius Sollohub; affordable housing expert architect Jak Inglese, of Rutherford; Habitat Project Manager Jim Corbett; Newark Councilman Donald Payne; NJIT President Robert A. Altenkirch.

WHY: Working with Habitat, students received real client input—a rare and valuable experience in a school program. They also created practical building plans that will eventually exist in wood and brick, not paper. By designing well-insulated single-family townhomes, instead of free-standing homes, the course maximized both affordability and energy efficiency. The use of shared walls furthered that goal by leaving fewer sides of the houses exposed to elements. The project hopes to obtain high (LEED) ratings for the homes, a designation which could earn state grants to underwrite up-front costs of ecological design elements, such as solar panels and underground geothermal water tanks.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.