University’s Weisman museum showcasing sustainable homes

The University of Minnesota's Weisman Art Museum is showcasing innovative affordable-housing models that use the latest in sustainable design techniques.

The HOME House Project: The Future of Affordable Housing features 80 affordable housing designs made from a variety of prefabricated and &#8220green” materials.

The exhibition includes building sections, scale models and drawings of the homes. A jury of architects selected 25 designs from a pool of more than 800 entries for the project, including work by seven Minnesota designers.

The project, organized by the Southeastern Center on Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem, N.C., will be on display at the Weisman until April 30.

In addition to the affordable-housing designs, the Weisman is highlighting photographs by University of Minnesota students taken for a documentary project with Habitat for Humanity.

The museum also is highlighting work by Twin Cities firms active in sustainable design, including an affordable-housing project developed by the University of Minnesota College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation; designs by LHB Engineers and Architects, one of the state's preeminent firms in designing affordable and &#8220green” housing; and recycled furniture developed by Geoffrey Warner and Alchemy Architects.

In connection with the HOME House Project, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will speak at a mayors' summit at the university's Hubert H. Humphrey Center on Feb. 15 to discuss environmental and economic sustainability as it relates to affordable housing.

Rybak will be joined by mayors Chris Coleman of St. Paul, Stephanie Klingzing of Elk River and Nancy Tyra-Lukens of Eden Prairie for a discussion moderated by Edward Gotez, a public affairs professor at the Humphrey Institute.

The program will be held 3-5 p.m. in the center's Cowles Auditorium.