University Giving

Collaboration between manufacturers and students is one of the most effective ways to introduce advanced products to the evolving sustainable technology field. Empowering students with the understanding of the role their simplest actions – like flipping on a ceiling fan – can play, further provides an instrumental step in conservation efforts.

Effective partnerships with university design/build programs, in which the manufacturer of a product donates expertise to these future architects, designers and engineers, provide a more significant impact than simply cutting a check.

Auburn University

Rural Studio

Auburn University’s Rural Studio has transformed over the years, moving its focus from recycling and re-use into more complex designs for community-oriented projects. Working in West Alabama’s Black Belt region, student projects include building or renovating libraries, greenhouses, homes, gathering halls for community and scout groups, public restrooms, and churches, to name a few, all with a focus on sound design. Big Ass Solutions® has contributed to many of these projects, bringing comfort and energy efficiency to both conditioned and unconditioned spaces all with our flair for good design. Below are a few of the projects they have completed with Big Ass Fans.

Greensboro Boys & Girls Club

The Greensboro Boys & Girls Club is part of a national organization that provides a safe, nurturing place for local youth. Two 8-foot Isis fans in the club’s learning center serve as the main source of cooling, aided by large porches that shade the building, numerous operable windows, large vents and significant insulation. The fans’ quiet operation was essential for the functionality of the space. For the kids, however, it’s the size that takes precedence, as they often exclaim, “Those are the biggest fans I’ve ever seen!”
Photo Credit: Timothy Hursley

The Lions Park Scout Hut

Big Ass Solutions donated two 8-foot Isis® fans in the Lions Park Scouts Hut, which is occupied year-round for scout meetings as well as community ceremonies, special events, and even the occasional fish-fry. The scouts used the fans to eliminate the need for heating and air conditioning. In winter, the fans circulate heat from a wood-burning stove. In summer, air movement from the fans works with other passive cooling strategies, including operable windows, large overhangs that shade the building, two large exhaust fans on the roof, and significant insulation.


Native Americans living on or near tribal land face some of the worst housing conditioning in the country. Over 40% live in overcrowded or dilapidated housing, in communities often lacking basic infrastructure.

DesignBuildBLUFF, a program run through the University of Utah, gives architecture students the chance to design and build new homes for deserving families living in the Navajo Nation south of Bluff, Utah. Students explore alternative building methods that heavily emphasize sustainability and stress the unique social, cultural, and environmental needs of the region.

Big Ass Fans is proud to partner with DesignBuildBLUFF, donating products and resources to students during each bi-annual build and educating on the importance of sustainable building practices.

design/buildLAB Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design

Virginia Tech’s design/buildLAB focuses on improving the lives of residents in rural western Virginia. The program pairs architecture students and industry experts to create buildings and structures that make a difference in their local communities.

The group partnered with Big Ass Fans to construct a new Little League field house that would keep fans and players comfortable during even the hottest summer baseball games. Working with Big Ass Fans applications engineers, the students designed a new structure that would take advantage of the site’s prevailing winds. By enhancing natural ventilation with a Haiku fan, the field house stays cool—without HVAC. The project was even featured in the January 2015 issue of Architect Magazine!

Miami University

Center for Community Engagement’s Over-the-Rhine DesignBuild Studio

The Miami (Ohio) University Center for Community Engagement’s Over-the-Rhine DesignBuild Studio is credited for its work in rejuvenating this once lively neighborhood adjacent to Cincinnati’s business district. DesignBuild Studio students engage in redesign and renovation of historic buildings in the neighborhood, schematic design for specific Over-the-Rhine community housing projects, and general community design initiatives.

Tulane University


CityBUILD, housed within Tulane University’s School of Architecture, aims to address the short- and long-term sustainable needs of the New Orleans community, from rebuilding post-Hurricane Katrina to new endeavors that benefit various organizations. CityBUILD’s Grow Dat Farm program in New Orleans City Park offers job and leadership training to a diverse group of students who plant, harvest and cook their own foods. The students also receive instruction on the business skills needed to market and sell their goods. Big Ass Solutions donated an 8-foot Element fan to bring a much-needed breeze to the intolerable summer conditions in their outdoor learning environment.

Mississippi State University

Gulf Coast Community Design Studio

Established following Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi State University’s Gulf Coast Community Design Studio provides architectural design and landscape expertise to communities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The studio recently designed a new indoor/outdoor educational facility for the Moore Community House, which challenges those less fortunate to improve their lives through a variety of opportunities.

The organization’s Women in Construction program plans to use the facility to provide disadvantaged women with job training in the fields of general construction, welding, disaster relief and recovery. Respectful of a good heat wave, Big Ass Solutions donated a portable Yellow Jacket® fan to be used wherever cooling relief is needed.

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Hosted every two years by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams across the world to design, build, and operate cost-effective and energy-efficient solar-powered houses. By incorporating innovative building techniques and technologies to create a fully functioning net-zero home, students demonstrate the ease and affordability of sustainable building practices.

During the 2013 competition, Big Ass Solutions worked with students at Stanford University, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Stevens Institute of Technology, Norwich University, and Team Ontario. These teams all incorporated Haiku ceiling fans in their homes to keep residents comfortable while reducing their reliance on air conditioning.


The Yestermorrow design/build school allows students the opportunity to apply skills they’ve learned to actual architecture projects, with a large focus on sustainability. Sometimes this means renovating your own workspace, which is what took place this spring on the Yestermorrow campus in Vermont.

To create a more flexible, comfortable working environment, the students removed posts, provided a facelift for the walls and ceilings, added new red oak flooring, and installed a bamboo Haiku® fan from Big Ass Solutions. Haiku circulates the air, improving the thermal comfort for occupants.