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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Energy-conscious architecture professor receives honor

For his efforts in developing more energy-conscious architecture, Dennis Andrejko, associate professor of architecture at UB's School of Architecture and Planning, earned the honor of being elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Andrejko is one of 112 architects in the United States, 10 from New York State, and the only one from Western New York to receive this accolade in 2009.

Known for his efforts to achieve sustainability in architecture, Andrejko and his colleagues have recently been developing architectural methods and tools so that all buildings can become carbon neutral by 2030. A few years ago, he worked with a team to develop building design guidelines, focusing on ways to make UB campus buildings more sustainable.

Andrejko is also involved in the Carbon Neutral Designs (CND) project, which looks at existing buildings and how they are performing, how different metrics could apply to different building types and how architects can create carbon-neutral building designs.

Creating carbon-neutral architecture has been one of Andrejko's long-time ambitions. He was always interested in incorporating a greater environmental awareness into architecture.

"It started when I was a student in architecture school. I was always environmentally sensitive to things around me," Andrejko said. "There's one planet that we live on, and we're all part of one system."

All of Andrejko's work has been driven by his passion to reach out to and better the community. He believes that issues of energy use and climate change are central concerns in today's society. According to Andrejko, it's especially important that he is doing this work in a university setting, so that he can send the message to students that creating a livable community should be the center of their work.

"When I got this award, it was about... educating the community overall," Andrejko said. "It's important that the future leaders of our professions understand that we have the tools and talents to make a positive contribution."

Andrejko notes that although he is proud that his work serves as a benchmark for the architectural discipline, he is even more pleased to know that he made a positive contribution to society.

"I am humbled, honored, surprised and excited [to be honored]," Andrejko said. "To know that you're recognized by your peers is a sense of satisfaction and reassurance, that the commitment one has made over time has made some impact and has elevated the standard by which we all aspire to."

Andrejko hopes that current architecture and planning students at UB will be driven to use their gifts to work for the greater good of the community.

"If you have a drive and you have a passion, don't give up on that, especially if it's going to improve the community and the wellbeing around us," Andrejko said. "By us being here as humans, we are blessed with a gift. What that means in return is you need to ask yourself, 'What is your gift back to the world?' Because you were given a gift, you have to give something back. You have to be more cognizant of your responsibilities to give back."



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