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Denver, Colorado
October 5-15, 2017

Solar Decathlon Blog - Team NY Alfred

Below you will find Solar Decathlon news from the Team NY Alfred archive, sorted by date.

Stevens Leads After Taking First in Three of Four Juried Contests

Friday, October 16, 2015

By Carol Laurie

At the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015, Stevens Institute of Technology holds the lead after placing first in Market Appeal, Architecture, and Communications.

Stevens’ SURE HOUSE, a sustainable and resilient house for shore residents vulnerable to extreme weather conditions that could cause flooding and blackouts, earned 96 points to win the Architecture Contest.

“The Stevens design stacks up very favorably against many homes designed by seasoned architectural teams, and in fact outstrips the vast majority of U.S. houses when it comes to energy performance,” said Architecture Contest juror Ann Edminster, a leading international expert on green homes and chair of the Green Building Task Force for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America. “The love of community that drove this design inspired a highly effective collaboration, in turn giving rise to an exceptionally well-integrated final product that will benefit both the occupants and their larger community.”

Photo of a group of people cheering.

Stevens Institute of Technology celebrates after winning the Communications Contest at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

The Solar Decathlon involves 10 contests – each worth 100 points – for a possible competition total of 1,000 points.

Other juried contest results announced over the last two days include:

Affordability – The University of California, Davis, and Mass/Central America (Western New England University, Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, and Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana) tied for first place and earned the full 100 points by constructing houses estimated to cost $249,312 and $120,282, respectively. Texas/Germany (The University of Texas at Austin and Technische Universitaet Muenchen) earned second place with 98.16 points for their house estimated to cost $268,399. Third place went to the State University of New York at Alfred College of Technology and Alfred University with 98.14 points for its house estimated to cost $268,637.

Market Appeal – California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, took second place with 93 points for its house designed for coastal California, and Clemson University took third place with 96 points for its Indigo Pine house, which assembles like a jigsaw puzzle without the use of power tools.

Architecture – Clemson University claimed second place with 95 points, and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California, took third place with 94 points.

Communications – Clemson University finished second with 90 points, followed by the University of Buffalo, the State University of New York, in third place with 89 points.

Full details about these results, scores, and standings are available here.

Tomorrow is the big day! Results from the Engineering Contest and the overall winner of the Solar Decathlon will be announced at 9:45 a.m. PDT by Energy Department Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Dr. David Danielson.

Carol Laurie is the communications manager for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

Team NY Alfred Creates a Model for Western New York State

Friday, August 21, 2015

By Ernie Tucker

Western New York may not be known as a hotbed of solar energy innovation yet, but the addition of the ultra-efficient Alf House is beginning to change that.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 project from Team NY Alfred in Alfred, New York—made up of the State University of New York at Alfred College of Technology and Alfred University—is being used to spread the word about renewable energy.

“We’ve been able to reach the area schools around us and give them an idea of what the future looks like and how they could be part of it,” says Jessica Scoones of Team NY Alfred.

Scoones, who just completed her freshman year studying renewable energy engineering, chose Alfred University because of its involvement in the Solar Decathlon.

The team’s outreach efforts have also gone beyond local schools. Decathletes have canvassed the area, which includes a low-income population, to see what technologies might be valuable to residents.

“We’ve managed to make the house not just a simple family home for four, but we’ve been able to talk to local farmers and get their take on what they could use to better their own homes,” says Scoones.

Photo of a group of people in front of a building under construction.

Members of Team NY Alfred gather in front of Alf House, under construction at the State University of New York Alfred Wellsville Campus, in April. (Credit: Rick W. McLay /Team NY Alfred)

Although she has been involved only since last September, others have been preparing for several years. The two schools were part of a collaboration with China’s Guilin University of Technology in the first Solar Decathlon China in 2013. The experience stoked the group for its participation in the 2015 U.S. competition.

And that’s where the Alf House comes in. The project’s name underscores the unity between the schools, which are literally across the street from each other in Alfred, a small town south of Rochester and southeast of Buffalo.

Scoones, who is minoring in communications, has been working on outreach for the team and is content to leave most of the building to trained groups from Alfred College, which has classes in construction.

“In a couple of weeks, I’ll be going down from my hometown of Utica, New York, to do some of the smaller things, like painting the inside, that don’t require me to hurt myself,” she says, laughing.

Despite the fact that she’s a college volleyball player, she says: “I’m a klutz. Somehow, the grace doesn’t transfer. We went for a picture, and I tripped and fell.”

Computer-generated illustration of a solar-powered house.

Team NY Alfred designed the Alf House for a family of four in southern New York State. (Courtesy of the Solar Decathlon 2015 Team NY Alfred)

As the module structure comes together, she’s been impressed by the innovations throughout the house. One group of engineers is working on a solar-powered washer-dryer system.

“I come from a family of six and know how much energy is used just washing clothes,” says Scoones.

She says the architects and engineers have found ways to take the interior space and turn it into something that seems so much bigger.

“The house feels huge, and it’s so efficient,” she says.

“Being able to reach into the rustic, hilly-ness of our Allegany County and turn [this ambiance] into something modern and forward-thinking is impressive,” she says.

“I’m really excited to see it onsite in California,” she says.

And just as the project will impact the area, it has also impacted her career goals of working in renewable energy for housing by giving her unique experience.

“I think I’ll be that much more marketable with this innovative project,” she says.

But perhaps the best thing will be the changes that the Alf House will inspire in others for years to come.

“Our house acts more as a role model than a standalone home,” she says, a notion that adds to the overall satisfaction of the team. And there’s been plenty.

As she says, “It’s a joy to be a part of this.”

Ernie Tucker is a member of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon communications team.



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