In 2012, Green Prophet reported from the front lines of the Solar Decathlon in Spain, but this year the event is taking place in China and students from Israel’s Shenkar College of Engineering and Design will be there.
A US Department of Energy initiative, the biennial competition gives international architecture and engineering students a chance to actually participate in the design and construction of a solar-powered prefabricated home. Israeli students are currently assembling their model in Haifa, after which the 70 square meter home will be disassembled, packed up and shipped to China in time for the start of the weeks-long competition that starts in August, 2013.
Shenkar students are working with students from Tel Aviv University, the Department of the Design at the Collage of Management and the Neri Bloomfield School of Design and Education in the Wizo Academy in Haifa to realize their custom solar-powered home.
A compact, open plan dwelling that receives its energy from 54 square meters of solar panels on its roof, Israel’s entry features superior insulation that prevents undue thermal loss while still allowing the house to breathe.
Outside, a short green wall allows for vegetative growth and enhances the microclimate by providing both cooling and air purification.
The lightweight steel frame is simple to erect, break down and ship, all of which are necessary aspects of a home that will be re-assembled once the students arrive in China. And the interior comprised of mostly bamboo flooring and finishings will also be suitably minimalist for the same reason.
A rainwater capture system collects rainwater and then purifies it for use in irrigation, a crucial aspect of a design with origins in the water-scarce Middle East. And air-conditioning is supplied by sophisticated solar thermal technology.
With guidance from sustainable architecture specialists Joseph Cory and Holly Chen Shalita, the students worked on the design phase of the project for more than a year.
Now their hard work is finally starting to fruit.
:: Ynet News
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