Just add water

ENERGY-SAVING INVENTION CASTS CALMING LIGHT

Gifts are helping a UO professor and a graduate student test prototypes of a new exterior window treatment that reflects natural, exterior light into buildings while adding the soothing patterns of moving water.

Architecture professor Kevin Nute and graduate student Aaron Weiss came up with the concept in an architectural design class taught by Nute in 2008. They have since perfected the design and created prototypes now in place at three buildings in Eugene: the Women’s Care office on Country Club Parkway, the Benjamin Thornton Orthodontics office, and the Eugene Waldorf School.

“A rippling pond is what it reminds me of,” says Allison Moore, the Women’s Care receptionist.

A donor-funded grant through the UO’s University Venture Development Fund has enabled Nute and Weiss to test the energy and human effects of the water light shelf’s moving light patterns.

If results are positive, Nute and Weiss plan to seek private investment to turn the water light shelf into a commercial product for use on both new and existing buildings.

Earlier work on the project was supported by a Van Evera Bailey grant from the Oregon Community Foundation. To see what the water shelf looks like, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG2TdyachSU.

Learn more about supporting UO research at uoventurefund.uoregon.edu.