The Design/Build Masonry Competition has become a highlight of the COAD experience for undergraduate architecture students. Every spring semester, all second year architecture students are assigned a studio project to design a masonry building with a specific program.
In 2011, the college of Architecture and Design in partnership with Rutgers University, successfully competed in the Solar Decathlon, an international design competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. The NJIT/Rutgers team designed and constructed the eNJoy! House, the first high-mass precast concrete structure to be produced for the competition.
In 2013, the college partnered with the Harbin Institute of Technology to compete in the first ever China National Energy Agency that took place in Datong, China. NJIT was one of only three U.S. schools selected for the 22-team competition, which was truly international in scope. The NJIT/Harbin team designed, and constructed in China, Nexus House, a house that brought together sustainable western sensibilities within the form of a traditional Chinese courtyard house.
The college brings state-of-the art computer numerically controlled (CNC) hardware to the design process. Students have the ability to use dye and laser cutters, as well as advanced forming tools such as Dimension 3D Printers and a Precix 9100 Industrial 3-axis router to make physical their digital designs. The college has recently added a MakerBot laboratory in the summer of 2015 and continues to engage in direct-to-manufacture technology in coursework and faculty research. This equipment is located in specialized laboratories located throughout the college.
The Graduation Celebration is a more sedate affair. Held under a tent on the lawn, new CoAD graduates enjoy champagne and strawberries and a brass quartet in their caps and gowns. The Dean makes a special toast and awards are made to outstanding students. Finally, students are photographed on the ramp, accompanied by a red and white balloon send-off amid cheers of success and celebration.