"Ice Cycle House" was designed as a snow-belt residence for Buffalo in Western New York State.
College of Architecture and Design Assistant Professor Matt Burgermaster has won a 2013 Builder’s Choice Custom Home Design Award for his “Ice Cycle House,” a sustainable pre-fab house designed as a snow-belt residence in Buffalo, New York.The Builder’s Choice Custom Home Design Awards is a national awards competition that honors housing projects for their excellence in design and construction; it’s judged by leading professionals from the architecture and building industries. The award was given to Burgermaster at the “Designing for Resilience” 2013 Reinvention Symposium, and the house is also featured in the October issue of Builder, the magazine of the National Association of Home Builders.
Burgermaster’s design uses digital fabrication processes and computer-driven technology to create cost-effective customization of building parts. With prefabricated components and low-cost materials, the house’s exterior envelope works with, instead of against, extreme snow loads and the natural snowmelt cycle by integrating them into the building’s insulation and drainage functions. He created that system in response to the need for new resilient design and construction solutions applicable to extreme climatic weather such as high snowfall.
The “Ice Cycle House” previously received awards in national design competitions from professional and academic organizations alike. It received an Honorable Mention Award from the Buffalo/WNY Chapter of the American Institute of Architects as an entry to the 2009 McKinley House Competition, an international design competition to create an affordable, modular home. The project was one of four awarded projects, including entries from Germany and Canada.
Burgermaster’s design also won the 2011-12 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Faculty Design Award, the most prestigious national design award given by the group. The award honors excellence and distinguished achievement in recognition of those who have advanced the art and science of the field. In 2010, the Journal of Architecture Education also published “Ice Cycle House: From Functional Accessory to Performative Envelope” in a special issue dedicated to outstanding design projects.