The Stevens Institute of Technology‘s SURE HOUSE has won the biennial United States Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon for 2015, beating out 13 other teams. Showcasing aesthetics, serious sustainability, and financial viability wrapped in a tiny and efficient solar house, the winning dwelling scored consistently well in all ten of the competition’s categories.
“SURE,” a portmanteau for SUstainable and REsilient, features sustainability throughout the home’s design. Using Hurricane Sandy as inspiration, the team from Stevens Institute of Technology incorporated resilient aspects into their design, allowing the building to open up during summer months and be sufficiently secured during the winter. The team expects the structure to be able to endure any coastal storms on the Jersey Shore.
In terms of aesthetics, the dwelling would fit right into a book on ’60s Modernist coastal flats, however, the technical side to the house tells a much different story. The roof is more than well equipped with solar paneling, making the house fully solar powered, generating 10,000 watts. Meanwhile the buildings envelope is constructed from a fiber-composite glued together over a foam core, protecting it from the elements and each layer is orientated in a perpendicular fashion to boost structural rigidity.
Beachside shading devices that allow residents to enjoy the summer sun, can fold away, doubling up as storm shutters.
SURE HOUSE uses 90 percent less energy than a regular dwelling. Such a feat is achieved thanks to advanced appliances like Daikin Skyair’s zoned heat pump that can be used for heating, cooling, dehumidifying, and solar-electric hot water. A heat recovery and ventilation system from Zehnder Novus energy is also used, retaining building heat and preconditioning inflowing fresh air.
As a nod to community, the house has been designed with an external USB charging station for community use during emergencies.