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University of Hawaii Computer-Animated Walkthrough (Text Version)

This is the text version of the University of Hawaii's U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 computer-animated walkthrough.

[Hawaiian chanting; a drum backs the vocals while the team name is displayed. The shot fades to a wide view of the mountains and ocean.]

Voiceover: The echoing of chants is the land speaking. The connection of aina and people becomes parallel. The built environment moves with the land. Water is key for life to flourish. Wind blows from life to reed. Light illuminates for life to shine.

[Close-up of a crashing wave serves as a transition to the house animation. Important definitions appear on screen.]

Voiceover: Hale Pilihonua. Hale — a built structure. Pili — connection, to connect. Honua — earth and land.

[Orbiting view of the house.]

Voiceover: In Hawaiian poetics, the house is like a gourd that holds a necessity of life, more specifically water and food. For life to prosper, sustaining life from the summits of the mountains, to the shoreline we play at. What we do in the ocean affects the land. What we do on land affects the ocean. Just as the name of the house represents the connection of the home with nature, the design is also deeply connected with land through the elements of sun, wind, and water. This connection promotes sustainability because the house functions in harmony with naturally available resources.

[Walkthrough of the house, starting from the ramp.]

Voiceover: Like walking through a corridor of a bamboo forest, the ramp brings to mind humbleness and peace. The entry, with glass doorways, plywood ribs, and aerogel walls, encapsulated by fiber reinforced plastic ... open, welcoming. The geometric shape transforms from the norm of a rectangle evolving curves, then morphs by undulating the given points in the geometry. The flooring of the hale stays parallel with the land below, while the shape of the monocouche structure morphs and flows underneath, creating space for machinery systems, water, and phase change material. The hale's belly holds the stored energy of the heat pump system in order to sustain future comfort. The kitchen and bathroom cradle a common wall, embracing localized plumbing while succeeding in necessary segregation between.

[A time-lapse shot shows how light transfers through the wall material.]

Voiceover: In order to enhance perceived space, an open air gap in the shell brings within the outside environment, allowing a welcome transition to the Westerly pass of the home. Thin film louvered solar panels maintain the organic presence of the hale's form. Photovoltaics married with solar thermal allow pilihonua to balance her energy with what's taken from the land. A minimalistic approach embraces the growing culture that is micro-architecture.

[Sunset with an overlay of the home's name, followed by the Solar Decathlon logo.]

Voiceover: Hale pilihonua; Hawaii's contribution to the future of design.