OU Architecture Associate Professor Daniel Butko and his collaborators, which include Gibbs College alumnus Zachary Maggia, AIA, as well as Coreslab Structures (Oklahoma City), and Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories, were recently announced as winners in ARCHITECT Magazine’s 15th annual R+D Awards program.
The award-winning project is entitled “Acoustically Diffuse & Absorbent Lightweight Aerated Concrete” (ADALAC). According to the jurors, “The [six] winners are ‘a good representation of the fertile ground that is the architectural space and of where the industry is heading,… Even during pandemic times, interesting design and product exploration are still going on, which is a [testament] to the industry.”’
“Concrete’s porosity, durability, and moldability make the material ideal for nonstructural use,” says Butko. His research on ADALAC explores the relationship between material and geometry to utilize concrete in a different way. Currently, concrete—planar, dense, and highly reflective of sound waves—is not the material of choice for acoustical mitigation. However, along with its inherent structural and thermal properties, concrete can be quite porous, not to mention amenable to experimentation with form. To test its noise-control capabilities, Butko and his team of researchers are developing sawtooth panels made of acoustically diffuse and absorbent lightweight aerated concrete.