The Stevens Institute of Technology's SURE HOUSE has won the biennial United States Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon for 2015, beating out 13 other teams. Showcasing aesthetics, serious sustainability, and financial viability wrapped in a tiny and efficient solar house, the winning dwelling scored consistently well in all ten of the competition's categories. "SURE," a portmanteau for SUstainable and REsilient, features sustainability throughout the home's design. Using Hurricane Sandy as inspiration, the team from Stevens Institute of Technology incorporated resilient aspects into their design, allowing the building to open up during summer months and be sufficiently secured during the winter. The team expects the structure to be able to endure any coastal storms on the Jersey Shore. In terms of aesthetics, the dwelling would fit right into a book on '60s Modernist coastal flats, however, the technical side to the house tells a much different story. The roof is more than well equipped with solar paneling, making the house fully solar powered, generating 10,000 watts. Meanwhile the buildings envelope is constructed from a fiber-composite glued together over a foam core, protecting it from the elements and each layer is orientated in a perpendicular fashion to boost structural rigidity. Beachside shading devices that allow residents to enjoy the summer sun, can fold away, doubling up as storm shutters. SURE HOUSE uses 90 percent less energy than a regular dwelling. Such a feat is achieved thanks to advanced appliances like Daikin Skyair's zoned heat pump that can be used for heating, cooling, dehumidifying, and solar-electric hot water. A heat recovery and ventilation system from Zehnder Novus energy is also used, retaining building heat and preconditioning inflowing fresh air. As a nod to community, the house has been designed with an external USB charging station for community use during emergencies.
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In response to Hurricane Sandy, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched the Rebuild by Design competition to develop strategies to increase the resiliency of urban and coastal areas in the face of extreme weather events and climate change. According to HUD's website, the goal of the competition is "to promote innovation by developing regionally-scalable but locally-contextual solutions that increase resilience in the region, and to implement selected proposals with both public and private funding dedicated to this effort. The competition also represents a policy innovation by committing to set aside HUD Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding specifically to incentivize implementation of winning projects and proposals. Examples of design solutions are expected to range in scope and scale—from large-scale green infrastructure to small-scale residential resiliency retrofits." The shortlist of 10 teams—including architects, landscape architects, university groups, developers, engineers and others—has been announced. Interboro Partners with the New Jersey Institute of Technology Infrastructure Planning Program; TU Delft; Project Projects; RFA Investments; IMG Rebel; Center for Urban Pedagogy; David Rusk; Apex; Deltares; Bosch Slabbers; H+N+S; and Palmbout Urban Landscapes. PennDesign/OLIN with PennPraxis, Buro Happold, HR&A Advisors, and E-Design Dynamics WXY architecture + urban design / West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture with ARCADIS Engineering and the Stevens Institute of Technology, Rutgers University; Maxine Griffith; Parsons the New School for Design; Duke University; BJH Advisors; and Mary Edna Fraser. OMA with Royal Haskoning DHV; Balmori Associaties; R/GA; and HR&A Advisors. HR&A Advisors with Cooper, Robertson, & Partners; Grimshaw; Langan Engineering; W Architecture; Hargreaves Associates; Alamo Architects; Urban Green Council; Ironstate Development; Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation; New City America. SCAPE Landscape Architecture with Parsons Brinckerhoff; SeARC Ecological Consulting; Ocean and Coastal Consultants; The New York Harbor School; Phil Orton/Stevens Institute; Paul Greenberg; LOT-EK; and MTWTF. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Urbanism and the Dutch Delta Collaborative with ZUS; De Urbanisten; Deltares; 75B; and Volker Infra Design. Sasaki Associates with Rutgers University and ARUP. Bjarke Ingels Group with One Architecture; Starr Whitehouse; James Lima Planning & Development; Green Shield Ecology; Buro Happold; AEA Consulting; and Project Projects. unabridged Architecture with Mississippi State University; Waggoner and Ball Architects; Gulf Coast Community Design; and the Center for Urban Pedagogy.