Solar Decathlon 2011
The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University's U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon entry, enCORE, presents a family-friendly solution for residential needs while addressing the world's growing energy problem. enCORE features living spaces arranged around a central core that contains the house's mechanical and plumbing systems. The flexible, interconnected design gives this 930-ft2 (86-m2) solar-powered house the same functionality and livability of projects much larger in size and budget.
enCORE creates balance among necessities, environmental sensibilities, economics, and aesthetics through a holistic design approach. An adjustable exterior screen provides privacy and protection from the sun, a bioremediation system filters rainwater and brings nature close to the house's residents, and a dynamic plan that extends outward from a consolidated building core provides generous living spaces inside and out.
enCORE embodies an approach that places a high priority on maximizing passive performance. Features include:
State-of-the-art triple-glazed windows that minimize heat loss while maximizing solar gain
A super-insulated exterior envelope with double the insulation value of conventional homes
Natural lighting throughout the house based on activity areas.
Through a combination of low-cost passive measures and the thoughtful use of technology, enCORE is cost-effective and ultra-efficient. Technological solutions include:
A flat-plate solar thermal collector in combination with a heat pump water heater to further improve energy efficiency
A unique solar thermal hot air system to maximize occupant comfort and minimize energy consumption
An 8-kW photovoltaic array that consists entirely of thin-film panels manufactured locally in Toledo, Ohio
A simple control interface that controls lighting, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems with an intuitive and informative touch-screen display.
Many neighborhoods in Columbus, Ohio, would benefit from redevelopment and rejuvenation. enCORE is a proposal for a residential neighborhood with an average income that is lower than the rest of the city. A sustainable house will ultimately save money for residents while promoting sustainable practices in the community.
Department of Mechanical Engineering
E331 Scott Laboratory
201 West 19th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210