Aug/Sept 2013: SHADE brings Sustainability to Desert Living

TEAM ASUNM is counting down the days until the Solar Decathlon 2013 begins. With less than  three weeks to go, they have filmed a walk-through before preparing to take apart the SHADE home. It will be shipped to Irvine, California and re-configured on site at Orange County Great Park for the competition.

Team ASUNM av video

Walk through the SHADE house with Team ASUNM.

The team has looked at the relationship of plants in the Sonoran desert for inspiration – much as the Chinese Decathlon winners from Australia looked to their native environment to inspire the Illawarra Flame House.

Watch the video for more details on SHADE’s design philosophy inspired by the Saguarro cactus and mesquite tree, their unique PV (solar) canopy and an unconventional cooling system that involves a thermal storage unit and a radiant ceiling. Bonus – find HOG on the scene!

Where will SHADE go once the competition is over? It will become a model sustainable home for an urban reclamation project in Phoenix called Phx Renews.


July 2013: Team ASUNM to Bring HOG to Solar Decathlon

Solar Decathlon 2013: Team ASUNM Presents SHADE Home

This October 20 university teams from across the world will present the culmination of over two years of work with their state-of-the-art green homes. The Solar Decathlon 2013, to be held in Irvine, California from October 3 through 13, challenges student teams to design, build and present net zero energy homes.

Each team is encouraged to design and build a solar, modular home that answers the needs of their particular environment within a greater framework of sustainability.

Here’s the framework:

“The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.”

Rainwater HOG is delighted to announce that Team ASUNM, a collaboration between Arizona State University and the University of New Mexico, will be using six HOG tanks in their SHADE home.

SHADE is an acronym for solar homes adapting for desert equilibrium, and the team’s “ultimate goal is to create a model for sustainable desert living.”

Team ASUNM video

Arizona State University and The University of New Mexico Computer Animated Walk-through

What we like about the contest framework is that it allows for a greater diversity of design while encouraging students to strategize solutions for specific locations. The Solar Decathlon also provides students with invaluable hands-on experience in multiple aspects of the green building industry.

So, while Team ASUNM envisions a solution for urban sprawl in the desert environment (where the city of Phoenix has grown to 4.5 million people), the Middlebury College Team has designed their New England home with wood flooring harvested from sugar maples – the Vermont state tree – to support their local economy.

We’ll be following (and cheering!) Team ASUNM on The Whole HOG through their journey to Irvine, California. Next month, we’ll delve  deeper into some of the sustainable technologies Team ASUNM will showcase with SHADE – including a look out how our HOG tanks will be used.  We hope you’ll join us!