Published on April 30th, 2016 | by Natural Awakenings Northern New Jersey0
Stevens Wins Solar Decathlon Design Competition
Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, has won the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Irvine, California, with a futuristic, hurricane-resistant and energy-efficient coastal home that was inspired by Hurricane Sandy and Hoboken’s long history of flooding. The 6,800-student Stevens was one the smallest schools in the competition.
The design is especially important in light of the debate about whether raising homes on stilts in the best way to combat stronger storms and rising sea levels prompted by global climate change. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz states that innovative, highly energy-efficient homes will change how we build in the future.
The house, valued at $290,000, was built with fiber-composite materials, like those used in boat-building, has bifolding storm shutters and uses 90 percent less energy than conventional homes. It can also power a hybrid vehicle. Assembled in Hoboken over several months, it was built in three separate modules that were transported on tractor trailers to California.
Current plans are to return the structure to New Jersey and turn it into an educational destination for children on field trips to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Stevens President Nariman Farvardin says, “I could not be more proud.” The notes that the project embodies the Stevens ethos to leverage science and technology education to confront some of society’s biggest challenges.”
For more information, visit SolarDecathlon.gov.