Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: AppDynamics Blog, Roger Strukhoff, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

News Feed Item

RISD/Brown/Erfurt Team Unveils One-of-a-Kind Fabric Solar House at 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe

PROVIDENCE, RI--(Marketwired - June 27, 2014) - Students from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Brown University and the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, Germany have been hard at work for nearly two years designing and building their one-of-a-kind entry for the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe -- and the time has come to show their work to the world.

This summer, from June 28 through July 14, the grounds of France's Palace of Versailles will be transformed into a solar-powered village, showcasing 20 sustainable homes built by college students from around the globe. Among them will be a house like no other, Techstyle Haus, with a roof and walls made not of wood or metal, but almost entirely of durable, high performance textiles.

The team -- officially called "Team Inside/Out" in the competition -- spent the spring semester in Providence, Rhode Island constructing the home's structural supports, attaching its signature textile shell and adding the flexible solar panels that will provide all the power the house needs -- and then some. After determining that everything was in working order, the team carefully disassembled the house, packed it into five shipping containers, and shipped it across the Atlantic, where the teams had 10 days to build their houses on site before judging formally opens on June 28.

Designing and constructing a highly efficient solar home with textiles is no simple task, and the team set the bar high. To reach the Passive House Standard -- one that uses 90 percent less energy for heating and cooling than a standard house -- the house's innovative textile wall assembly required a design that combined highly efficient insulation with materials that resist fire and dampen sound. The plumbing, heating and cooling systems, placed in a compact mechanical core, are the picture of efficiency, running on the power it would take to operate a hair dryer. Solar photovoltaic cells and solar thermal units are used to harness energy. The photovoltaic array covering the curved surfaces is innovative, lightweight, flexible and efficient -- the curvature of which helps to capture more solar energy over the course of a day than a flat system would.

"This project has been a great opportunity for us to reconsider how we think about energy efficiency and the play between function and form," said Helen Bergstrom, Brown chemical engineering student and project engineer. "It has been amazing to see how efficiency optimization can be used to create a structure that is seamless, elegant and comfortable. If someone had told me two years ago that students could design and build a home out of fabric that produces over 50% more energy than it uses I would not have believed it. I think we have all surprised ourselves and our communities."

One of the most spectacular tasks during the initial construction in Rhode Island was stretching the innovative outer textile shell over the 800 square foot house, which is made of a flexible fiberglass material called Sheerfill® II Architectural Membrane with EverClean® Photocatalytic Topcoat. The material is often used for roofs of domed stadiums, airplane hangars, and other large structures, but has never before been used in residential construction.

How does this all really work? Take a look at the Techstyle Haus video.

The truly interdisciplinary team, including art and design students from RISD, engineering students from Brown, and architecture students from Erfurt (who specialize in Passive House design in particular), consulted with companies from all over the world as they designed and built their house. Shawmut Design and Construction trained the students in safety and helped with construction management. Saint-Gobain, maker of the Sheerfill II shell, and Birdair Inc., a company that built the sweeping fabric roof on the Denver International Airport, consulted on the outer shell. Viessmann and TACO HVAC helped with the HVAC system, and Zola Windows, a Passive House standard window company, fabricated the large windows that make up most of the house's front and back walls. Other primary sponsors include Solar Decathlon Europe 2014, Pvilion, BMWi + EnOB, Schneider Electric, Ximedica and HB Welding. For a complete list of sponsors, visit: techstylehaus.com.

"Since the first day, I was fascinated by the idea of a textile building, particularly by the architectural possibilities, the innovation and the transformation of the ideas in practice," said Richard Ziegler, Master student FHE. "It is a big chance to have the opportunity to be part of the project from first sketches through construction. To collaborate on an international team with two renowned American universities is a great experience."

And while all of this work is being done for a good showing at the competition, the students are well aware of the bigger picture. The ultimate aim of the event is to spread the word about clean energy and sustainable living. Thousands of people are expected to attend and tour the homes, and with that, the team is hoping to change the way people think about building materials and inspire them to push the limits of architecture, design and engineering.

"With this first-ever textile passive house, we're hoping to change the way people think about building materials and inspire them to push the limits of architecture, design and engineering," said Kim Dupont-Madinier, RISD architecture student.

"We are really pleased with how the complete house turned out - even better than our renderings. All of our ideas have come to fruition, where the visual outcome is beautiful and the results are so much more then what we expected. By experimenting on this scale, we've come to understand how the different fabrics are performing holistically to create a home."

They're even thinking about the structure's life after Versailles. After the competition, the team will bring the house to Domaine de Boisbuchet, the site of annual interdisciplinary art and design workshops, to act as student housing, and in doing so, promote the practice of sustainable living to future generations and serve as a model for a new type of living that works with all aspects of environment. The house will continue to be monitored by the team so that future iterations can be further improved.

Hi-resolution press photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/124177118@N07/

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
Data-intensive companies that strive to gain insights from data using Big Data analytics tools can gain tremendous competitive advantage by deploying data-centric storage. Organizations generate large volumes of data, the vast majority of which is unstructured. As the volume and velocity of this unstructured data increases, the costs, risks and usability challenges associated with managing the unstructured data (regardless of file type, size or device) increases simultaneously, including end-to-...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing...
Actifio, the copy data virtualization company, today announced a series of new features and functional enhancements to better support the growing number of customers leveraging its virtual data pipeline technology in support of DevOps use cases. While infrastructure is increasingly seen as a commodity inside large enterprises, applications – where the technology touches the business – are becoming more strategic. Managing the flow of data that powers those applications presents a range of cha...
Cloud services are the newest tool in the arsenal of IT products in the market today. These cloud services integrate process and tools. In order to use these products effectively, organizations must have a good understanding of themselves and their business requirements. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brian Lewis, Principal Architect at Verizon Cloud, outlined key areas of organizational focus, and how to formalize an actionable plan when migrating applications and internal services to the ...
Most companies hope for rapid growth so it's important to invest in scalable core technologies that won't demand a complete overhaul when a business goes through a growth spurt. Cloud technology enables previously difficult-to-scale solutions like phone, network infrastructure or billing systems to automatically scale based on demand. For example, with a virtual PBX service, a single-user cloud phone service can easily transition into an advanced VoIP system that supports hundreds of phones and ...
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @Things...
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use c...
The recent trends like cloud computing, social, mobile and Internet of Things are forcing enterprises to modernize in order to compete in the competitive globalized markets. However, enterprises are approaching newer technologies with a more silo-ed way, gaining only sub optimal benefits. The Modern Enterprise model is presented as a newer way to think of enterprise IT, which takes a more holistic approach to embracing modern technologies.
DevOps Summit, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developmen...
Security can create serious friction for DevOps processes. We've come up with an approach to alleviate the friction and provide security value to DevOps teams. In her session at DevOps Summit, Shannon Lietz, Senior Manager of DevSecOps at Intuit, will discuss how DevSecOps got started and how it has evolved. Shannon Lietz has over two decades of experience pursuing next generation security solutions. She is currently the DevSecOps Leader for Intuit where she is responsible for setting and driv...
“Oh, dev is dev and ops is ops, and never the twain shall meet.” With apoloies to Rudyard Kipling and all of his fans, this describes the early state of the two sides of DevOps. Yet the DevOps approach is demanded by cloud computing, as the speed, flexibility, and scalability in today's so-called “Third Platform” must not be hindered by the traditional limitations of software development and deployment. A recent report by Gartner, for example, says that 25% of Global 2000 companies will b...
Software-driven innovation is becoming a primary approach to how businesses create and deliver new value to customers. A survey of 400 business and IT executives by the IBM Institute for Business Value showed businesses that are more effective at software delivery are also more profitable than their peers nearly 70 percent of the time (1). DevOps provides a way for businesses to remain competitive, applying lean and agile principles to software development to speed the delivery of software that ...
JFrog on Thursday announced that it has added Docker support to Bintray, its distribution-as-a-service (DaaS) platform. When combined with JFrog’s Artifactory binary repository management system, organizations can now manage Docker images with an end-to-end solution that supports all technologies. The new version of Bintray allows organizations to create an unlimited number of private Docker repositories, and through the use of fast Akamai content delivery networks (CDNs), it decreases the dow...