AMIE (Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy)

AMIE is one of the largest 3D-printed, energy-harvesting systems in the world…and it was designed and built by students, faculty, designers and scientists right here in the Governor’s Chair for Energy + Urbanism.

As revolutionary as AMIE is – and it’s an award-winning breakthrough in building technology and urban sustainability – it’s actually the third iteration of net-zero designs that we’ve produced. For more than a decade, before the Governor’s Chair for Energy + Urbanism existed, students in the college designed, iterated, learned, explored and designed again, each time building on the success of the net-zero project before.

AMIE is one of the world’s largest 3D-printed systems that creates and shares energy. Its incredible technology has virtually never been used in building technology, let alone energy consumption and generation, before. Students in James Rose’s studio contributed to AMIE’s design and worked alongside professionals from internationally acclaimed Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in this real-world example of how an innovative curriculum and curious faculty can change students’ lives…and their futures.

And when you’re done with AMIE, just grind it up and use the materials to build again. That’s transformation. That’s innovation.

Often, students haven’t learned yet that something is impossible, and they go on to demonstrate a new way of looking at a problem.

James Rose, Distinguished Lecturer, Director of the Smart Structures Institute

The AMIE prototype embodies the mature form of many design features explored in two previous net-zero projects: Its integrated solar array works in conjunction with a paired hybrid vehicle to provide all necessary power. Its form provides self-shading from direct gain while preserving light and view. AMIE’s unique interior packaging and color-changing floor-mounted LEDs offer a new perspective on compact living spaces, and its structure, materials and efficient envelope point the way to ground-breaking new techniques in construction.

This envelope feature arose from a collaborative architecture studio course combining UT, SOM and ORNL to explore the potential for incorporating large-scale additive manufacturing in building design. As the second in a series of research studios taught in partnership with the Governor’s Chair for Energy + Urbanism, a group of UT graduate Architecture students explored the opportunities for form, space, light and structure afforded by 3D-printed polymer. With SOM architects’ oversight, the student research paralleled the design of the AMIE prototype.

Awards for AMIE include

  • 2017 Architect Magazine R+D Award
  • 2017 Housing Innovation, Vision & Economics HIVE 50 Innovator, Lead Innovator in Design
  • 2017 AIA Chicago Divine Detail Design Excellence Award
  • 2017 Fast Co World-Changing Ideas Finalist
  • 2016 Architizer’s A+ People’s Choice Award for Best 3D-Printed Building in the World
  • 2016 U.S. Green Building Council Emerald Green Building Innovation Award
  • 2016 Fast Co Innovation by Design Honorable Mention

Participating in the development of the AMIE prototype, previous net-zero projects and new projects on the horizon affords our students unparalleled opportunities to work with foremost professionals in design on projects of international significance.