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kinematix

Solar Decathlon

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The reason I ask is that RISD is currently involved in a competition called the Solar Decathlon and will soon begin building their entry. The house will be constructed by the river on South Water Street across from Neath's and the RISD architecture building and will remain there until late september. For more info on the competition see the following link and wait for posts on the RISD design. They haven't made their design public yet because it is a competition but they'll have a site up soon. Does anyone know of developers or contractors who have in interest or focus on Green architecture who might want to get involved?

http://www.eere.energy.gov/solar_decathlon/

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It's moderately overcast for at least 6 months a year!! :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

True, maybe a solar powered ark would be a better idea. :lol:

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I like that. A solar powered ark seems to make a whole lot more sense ^_^

But truth be told, the new solar panels they'll be using don't require direct sunlight to charge the power supply. Apparently they've also found a way to cool the house using gel bricks which freeze at 65 degrees F! I'll keep you posted for sure.

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Brown Daily Herald - Campus News

Issue: 2/10/05

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RISD team to build solar house

By Chelsea Rudman

On the evening of Feb. 3, RISD SOLAR invited Providence families to a presentation of its solar house design in a dual effort to raise funds and educate the community. The house will be entered in the national Solar Decathlon competition this fall. With construction scheduled to begin in less than a month and the team still $200,000 shy of its projected fundraising goal of $350,000, the team was pleased to see "a really positive response" from the community, according to Fundraising Committee Chair Cristina Zancani-Tabena RISD '05.

Coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Solar Decathlon competition challenges participating teams to construct a self-sustaining, energy-efficient solar home. Houses are judged in categories ranging from "Architecture" to "Energy Balance," so teams must address both aesthetic and technical aspects in their designs. The DOE hopes the Solar Decathlon "will keep pushing the state of housing in the United States ... (as well as) advance research and development," according to Mike Wassmer of the National Renewable Energy Lab.

Calling himself a technical liaison between teams and organizers, Wassmer spoke from experience on both sides of the competition, as he was a student on the winning team of the University of Colorado at Boulder in the 2002 competition.

Wassmer outlined the DOE's specific goals, which included "improving home design and quality of life in and around the house" and "developing more beneficial ways to produce and use energy." He called the contest "the educational opportunity of a lifetime for the policymakers," emphasizing that the competition is intentionally held on the National Mall while Congress is in session. Wassmer said he personally witnessed the interest lawmakers take in the competition when he showed Boulder's design to Colorado representatives in 2002.

The contest also yields benefits for the participating students and institutions, Wassmer said. Aside from hands-on experience and technical knowledge learned, students acquire an excellent addition to their resumes. At job interviews after his own experience on the Boulder team, the Decathlon "was all prospective employers wanted to talk about," he said.

Specifically addressing the RISD design, Wassmer, who will not be on the judging panel at the competition, called RISD "an early favorite" and said the team's "drawing set was a work of art."

The scope of the competition is national, and RISD will be the only team representing Rhode Island. "We should have support from our community," Zancani-Tabena said.

RISD Adjunct Professor of Architecture Jonathan Knowles, who co-heads the project with RISD senior faculty member William Yoder, said that since the project started, about 50 students have been involved, including several Brown engineering and architecture students.

Currently, engineering students Stephen Pepe '05 and Alex Bowman '05 are representing Brown on RISD SOLAR. The two became involved through Brown's chapter of Engineers Without Borders, which Bowman founded.

The group was "looking for projects in Providence related to appropriate technology or environment," Bowman said, and RISD SOLAR "was perfect." The engineers will be "interfacing between RISD people and engineering firms" throughout the construction process, according to Bowman.

"Our expectations were far fulfilled" with regard to the community's response to the presentation, Zancani-Tabena said. She said fundraising is "a long process" and the event was just the first step in a series of steps that the team hopes will ultimately yield needed funding. Though no other similar evenings are planned for the near future, the fundraising committee will be busy over the next few weeks following up with the connections made at the event.

This week marks the third and final deadline for the team: submission to the central coordinators of its complete construction documents. Construction of the module on South Water Street is scheduled to begin in March. The team hopes to be finished before graduation in June. After a summer of exhibition to the public, the team will deconstruct the house for transport down to Washington and will begin its final construction Sept. 29, entering the final phase of a two-year long journey.

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What an interesting competition this is. Please keep us informed.

Actually, I would imagine Providence would be a good place for environmentally friendly architecture, given the progressive politics of the city and the focus on design here.

- Garris

PS: I'm in some rural suburbs in NY state (where I grew up) visiting my parents this weekend. Boy, I hate areas like this now... Absolutely nothing to do, nothing to see, nowhere to go... If I pass another bland raised ranch or neo-colonial McMansion I'm going to scream. Long live the architectural diversity and richness of Providence!

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For anyone who's interested or may have already noticed, the structures along the riverwalk are related to the RISD Solar Decathlon. They are the full-scale designs for a shade pavillion which will be built next to the house which should begin construction in the next few weeks. Some of the designs are a bit unrealistic but given the limited materials (wood, bolts & Tyvek) there are some neat ideas. Just for some background, the designs you will see there for this phase of the project are the product of a sophemore architecture studio and the design chosen as the best will be used as the prototype for the final structure.

RISD does have a website for this project: http://solar.risd.edu/index.html

It's a little weak and doesn't reflect the actual design because they don't want to give their ideas away to the competition but its bare bone info is pretty clear.

I should mention that I have no affiliation with RISD; I'm just a local with an interest in renewable energy and good design. If you or anyone you know might be interested in donating to this project (cash, tools, building supplies, etc.) the project really might have a shot at winning first place. Corpoarate sponsors would be able to have logos etc. placed on the site in return for big donations which would be amazing exposure with all of the summer's waterfire events.

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Puente is working on ways to intergrate eco friendly items into 60 Valley Street. Porous paving, "green" roofs, maybe a solar panel farm, and of course, recycle recylce recycle as much material on site as possible. I have heard there is a great Green building in S Prov. that I need to check out for the site. Has anyone been?

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Puente is working on ways to intergrate eco friendly items into 60 Valley Street. Porous paving, "green" roofs, maybe a solar panel farm, and of course, recycle recylce recycle as much material on site as possible. I have heard there is a great Green building in S Prov. that I need to check out for the site. Has anyone been?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi,

The one in S.Prov is the bldg on Gordon St. (yellow brick factory type) that was recently rehabbed:

http://www.ppsrf.org/consulting_detail.cfm?id=15

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There is an article on the RISD Solar House in this month's (May) Rhode Island Monthly Magazine (p.14) At the top of the page are two renderings of what the structure will look like from the outside. Also the RISD students are in the process of updating their site as well which can be found with a simple google search. More press is on the way too!

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There is an article on the RISD Solar House in this month's (May) Rhode Island Monthly Magazine (p.14) At the top of the page are two renderings of what the structure will look like from the outside. They, the RISD students, are in the process of updating their site as well which can be found with a simple google search. More press in on the way too!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I was just wondering what was going on with that. I'll have to check out the article.

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With thanks to EPBOY, we now have a web cam that will show the RISD Solar House as it is built. As you can see the construction fence went in today (bottom center of the shot) and work should start next Monday.

1_image.jpg

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Here are a few updates on the RISD Solar House:

Construction is well under way on South Water Street with the foundation complete and framing finishing up soon. The students are looking for some additional funding but have managed to raise an impressive 350K so far.

The house will be completed by September 15 and then made open to the public. For more info check out their updated website:

http://solar.risd.edu/index.html

Also, be sure to check back with this link which is a webcam but know that a newer (much better) one is on the way:

http://www.telecamsystems.com/providence/1_image.jpg

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RISD Solar T-shirts are now available in Red or White. They should be on sale in the RISD store (south main St) by tommorow if anyone is interested in helping this cause. They're only 20 bucks and I encourage any and all members here to join in. I'll try to post a pic of at least a red one tonight if I can get my hands on one.

PS: The house openning will be comming soon (Maybe September 24?) Let's help raise the money they need to move this house down to DC for the competition and judging

T-shirt link: http://solar.risd.edu/get_involved/index.html

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For those who haven't seen it yet here is a shot of the RISD solar house. They have about 2 weeks left of (very busy) construction and it's coming together very nicely. The formal openning will be on the 23rd of this month and it will also be open to the public on the 24th.

solar9_13_05.jpg

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RISD Green By Design is having an event in Market Square on Saturday from 12-4. From the poster I'm reading, it looks like they will have Solar House tours. There's also a presentation in the RISD Auditorium from 4-5. And that's a WaterFire night so one could make a day of it.

RISD Green By Design

I saw the Solar House t-shirts in the RISD Store today, I might have to get me one.

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As Cotuit mentioned, the shirts can be purchased from the RISD store but for those of you who will be attending the next few waterfires, they will be for sale between the bathrooms in the entry of the RISD auditorium just adjacent to Market Square. If you want to save a about two dollars, buy them at waterfire (The RISD store has a fee for credit card use that applies at least to the sale of these shirts and it might apply even if you pay with cash... strange but I think its true)

They need to raise about 30k still so even if you don't want to drop the cash on a shirt, donations of all sizes are welcome and can be made during waterfire.

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Big press for the RISD Solar team today. They have a big article on the cover of the buisness section (Sunday ProJo) and a Multimedia slide show on their web site.

Check it out...

http://www.projo.com/slideshow_flash/20050...solar-story.htm

The only way I can find today to get to the slide show is right off the home page

http://www.projo.com/

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