News Feed Item
RISD/Brown/Erfurt Team Unveils One-of-a-Kind Fabric Solar House at 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe
|By Marketwired .
|June 27, 2014 10:00 AM EDT
PROVIDENCE, RI--(Marketwired - June 27, 2014) - Students from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Brown University and the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, Germany have been hard at work for nearly two years designing and building their one-of-a-kind entry for the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe -- and the time has come to show their work to the world.
This summer, from June 28 through July 14, the grounds of France's Palace of Versailles will be transformed into a solar-powered village, showcasing 20 sustainable homes built by college students from around the globe. Among them will be a house like no other, Techstyle Haus, with a roof and walls made not of wood or metal, but almost entirely of durable, high performance textiles.
The team -- officially called "Team Inside/Out" in the competition -- spent the spring semester in Providence, Rhode Island constructing the home's structural supports, attaching its signature textile shell and adding the flexible solar panels that will provide all the power the house needs -- and then some. After determining that everything was in working order, the team carefully disassembled the house, packed it into five shipping containers, and shipped it across the Atlantic, where the teams had 10 days to build their houses on site before judging formally opens on June 28.
Designing and constructing a highly efficient solar home with textiles is no simple task, and the team set the bar high. To reach the Passive House Standard -- one that uses 90 percent less energy for heating and cooling than a standard house -- the house's innovative textile wall assembly required a design that combined highly efficient insulation with materials that resist fire and dampen sound. The plumbing, heating and cooling systems, placed in a compact mechanical core, are the picture of efficiency, running on the power it would take to operate a hair dryer. Solar photovoltaic cells and solar thermal units are used to harness energy. The photovoltaic array covering the curved surfaces is innovative, lightweight, flexible and efficient -- the curvature of which helps to capture more solar energy over the course of a day than a flat system would.
"This project has been a great opportunity for us to reconsider how we think about energy efficiency and the play between function and form," said Helen Bergstrom, Brown chemical engineering student and project engineer. "It has been amazing to see how efficiency optimization can be used to create a structure that is seamless, elegant and comfortable. If someone had told me two years ago that students could design and build a home out of fabric that produces over 50% more energy than it uses I would not have believed it. I think we have all surprised ourselves and our communities."
One of the most spectacular tasks during the initial construction in Rhode Island was stretching the innovative outer textile shell over the 800 square foot house, which is made of a flexible fiberglass material called Sheerfill® II Architectural Membrane with EverClean® Photocatalytic Topcoat. The material is often used for roofs of domed stadiums, airplane hangars, and other large structures, but has never before been used in residential construction.
How does this all really work? Take a look at the Techstyle Haus video.
The truly interdisciplinary team, including art and design students from RISD, engineering students from Brown, and architecture students from Erfurt (who specialize in Passive House design in particular), consulted with companies from all over the world as they designed and built their house. Shawmut Design and Construction trained the students in safety and helped with construction management. Saint-Gobain, maker of the Sheerfill II shell, and Birdair Inc., a company that built the sweeping fabric roof on the Denver International Airport, consulted on the outer shell. Viessmann and TACO HVAC helped with the HVAC system, and Zola Windows, a Passive House standard window company, fabricated the large windows that make up most of the house's front and back walls. Other primary sponsors include Solar Decathlon Europe 2014, Pvilion, BMWi + EnOB, Schneider Electric, Ximedica and HB Welding. For a complete list of sponsors, visit: techstylehaus.com.
"Since the first day, I was fascinated by the idea of a textile building, particularly by the architectural possibilities, the innovation and the transformation of the ideas in practice," said Richard Ziegler, Master student FHE. "It is a big chance to have the opportunity to be part of the project from first sketches through construction. To collaborate on an international team with two renowned American universities is a great experience."
And while all of this work is being done for a good showing at the competition, the students are well aware of the bigger picture. The ultimate aim of the event is to spread the word about clean energy and sustainable living. Thousands of people are expected to attend and tour the homes, and with that, the team is hoping to change the way people think about building materials and inspire them to push the limits of architecture, design and engineering.
"With this first-ever textile passive house, we're hoping to change the way people think about building materials and inspire them to push the limits of architecture, design and engineering," said Kim Dupont-Madinier, RISD architecture student.
"We are really pleased with how the complete house turned out - even better than our renderings. All of our ideas have come to fruition, where the visual outcome is beautiful and the results are so much more then what we expected. By experimenting on this scale, we've come to understand how the different fabrics are performing holistically to create a home."
They're even thinking about the structure's life after Versailles. After the competition, the team will bring the house to Domaine de Boisbuchet, the site of annual interdisciplinary art and design workshops, to act as student housing, and in doing so, promote the practice of sustainable living to future generations and serve as a model for a new type of living that works with all aspects of environment. The house will continue to be monitored by the team so that future iterations can be further improved.
Hi-resolution press photos: https:[email protected]/
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York.
“CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
May. 31, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,447
In the rush to compete in the digital age, a successful digital transformation is essential, but many organizations are setting themselves up for failure. There’s a common misconception that the process is just about technology, but it’s not. It’s about your business. It shouldn’t be treated as an isolated IT project; it should be driven by business needs with the committed involvement of a range of stakeholders.
May. 31, 2016 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,755
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
May. 30, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,029
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
May. 30, 2016 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,459
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
May. 30, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,674
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
May. 30, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 805
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure.
The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
May. 30, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 779
As machines are increasingly connected to the internet, it’s becoming easier to discover the numerous ways Industrial IoT (IIoT) is helping to shape the business world. This is exactly why we have decided to take a closer look at this pervasive movement and to examine the desire to connect more things!
Now if you need a refresher on IIoT and how it is changing the world, take a moment and listen to Greg Gorbach with ARC Advisory Group. Gorbach believes, "IIoT will significantly change the worl...
May. 30, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,113
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
May. 30, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,642
SYS-CON Events announced today the Docker Meets Kubernetes – Intro into the Kubernetes World, being held June 9, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY.
Register for 'Docker Meets Kubernetes Workshop' Here!
This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, introduces participants to Kubernetes (container orchestration). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, participants learn ...
May. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,093
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
May. 30, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,097
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
May. 30, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,162
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
May. 30, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 820
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Cole, Director of Solutions Engineering at Peak 10, will discuss how the newest technology advances are reducing the cost and complexity of traditional business continuity and disaster recovery solutions.
Learn why having a full disaster recovery strategy is more important now than ever before
Explore the key drivers of a successful disaster recovery solution
Achieve measurable operational and business value from a disaster recovery ...
May. 30, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,515
SYS-CON Events announced today the How to Create Angular 2 Clients for the Cloud Workshop, being held June 7, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY.
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified. Now it’s a component-based well-performing framework. The immersive one-day workshop led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and...
May. 30, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,130