Sustainability: Solar Decathlon 2011 Ready to Kick Off with Some Inspiring Designs

By , September 20, 2011

In just a few short days, students from top architecture universities will finally present the solar-powered houses they designed and built over a course of two years. The homes will be on display and open to the public at Potomac Park in Washington DC, from September 23 to October 2. All twenty teams have worked diligently on their projects for the 2011 Solar Decathlon competition, to design houses that are not only energy-efficient, but affordable, with a comfortable and healthy living environment. The competition raises awareness about the renewable energy systems that are available today; the public can learn about and adopt these cost saving features. Three teams in the competition used NanaWall in their design:

Team New York, a group of innovative architecture and engineering students from the City College of New York introduce the “Solar RoofPod,” a dwelling that redefines the use of the urban rooftop, the most underutilized real estate in New York City. The solar-powered pod will capture energy from the sun and distribute the surplus to the rest of the building, as rooftops provide the perfect resource for solar energy. The entrance of the RoofPod is constructed of a 9-foot NanaWall, allowing plenty of sunlight to flood the structure, with another 9-foot opening in the back. “CUNY Students Unveil Sun-Powered Roof Pod for Solar Decathlon Competition” Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology deliver low-cost, energy reducing technologies to active young professionals, who may be struggling to afford housing in Southern California’s high-priced real estate market. Their project, CHIP, is designed for the California lifestyle, with large apertures that open for coastal areas, and solar shades and insulation panels for the Sierras. An 11-foot NanaWall opening opens onto a deck, extending the living area to the exterior, ideal for a home with such a small footprint. The SCI Arc/ Cal Tech Team documented the installation of their windows and doors, including the NanaWalls on their blog.

Florida International University incorporated 21 panels of NanaWall in their solar-house design, for an open air pavilion that provides relief from South Florida’s hot and humid climate, through natural cross-ventilation. The operable panels extend the interior space and expand the livable space to the exterior. Operable louvers raise and lower for privacy, shading and protection against hurricane-force winds.

Their NanaWalls were installed back in August! “FIU perFORM[D]ance House Construction Update