Florida/Singapore: University of Florida, National University of Singapore, and Santa Fe College
Team website: solardecathlon.ufl.edu
In August 2015, the University of Florida, National University of Singapore, and Santa Fe College team withdrew from Solar Decathlon 2015. However, the team still plans to develop an alternative approach to solar-powered housing—one that is efficient, affordable, and inspirational.
"We feel that the house has great merit and hope to construct it locally to benefit community partners, if possible," said Bradley Walters, the team's faculty advisor and assistant professor at University of Florida. "The students got a lot out of this effort, and we owe it to them to ensure their efforts have a place in the constructed environment."
Although this was the first Solar Decathlon for National University of Singapore and Santa Fe College—and the first Solar Decathlon collaboration among the three schools—it was the second Solar Decathlon for University of Florida, which participated in 2011.
The Solar Living House is a house for living. It centers on people and the activities of daily life while introducing advanced design, construction, and engineering technologies. The house is a modular, two-bedroom one-bath home that embraces and frames an exterior courtyard, which acts as an extension of the interior space and introduces natural light. Innovative solar thermal systems control humidity, increase comfort, improve air quality, and reduce energy use.
Inspired by mid-century modern homes and the Case Study House program, the Florida/Singapore team approached the Solar Living House with the goal of creating an elegant and disciplined house that expresses its construction in an honest and direct manner—a house that basks in the sun and harnesses the full extent of the energy it affords and that reflects the poetic delight of a bygone era, updated and transformed through technological prowess.
- A wet core consolidates the mechanical systems and bathroom into a single module to reduce plumbing runs, efficiency losses, and on-site construction time.
- An integrated building automation system allows the environmental systems, lights, security systems, and smoke detectors to be programmed, monitored, and controlled through any mobile or computing device.
- Two rooftop evacuated-tube solar thermal collectors generate hot water that is used to dry a regenerative solid desiccant material, typically white silica gel, that adsorbs moisture and humidity from the air in a solar thermal dehumidification system.
The Solar Living House was designed for a young family of three in Gainesville, Florida.
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