Challenges and competitions like Solar Decathlon are great ideas. In those places we can find amazing projects and developments for future buildings. This year’s winner, SURE House, is a nice solution. The team has worked hard to get a sustainable and resilient house at the same time. Let’s see some of its characteristics.
SURE House. SUstainability + REsilience
In a nutshell, we could say that SURE House is a project to have a very sustainable house as well as a resilient one. But, how to combine those two terms? It must be remarked, that SURE House was designed for areas where hurricanes and tropical storms are common every year. Then, while the weather is ok, the house will store electricity thanks to the full solar roof. If a flood takes place, a barrier system will avoid water from entering into the house.
SURE House has a really low energy consumption in comparison with a traditional house. The team ensures that the house can save up to 60% of energy. To get it, they have used the last technology available in the market. Some of the facilities implemented are:
- Daikin Heat Pump with Zoning Kit
- Energy recovery ventilator Zehnder Novus 300
- PV Hot Water
Moreover, integrated photovoltaic panels have been included. They are very different to traditional ones: they are thin and flexible. These new solar panels can be fully integrated in the building and have much less problems than traditional ones. Finally, the building is very well insulated, reducing the thermal losses.
Regarding resilience, SURE House has proposed many amazing solutions. As we have previously mentioned, a barrier against floods has been installed. It is not permanently placed, but only when it is necessary. The building materials are resistant to storms. It has been achieved making the following considerations:
- Rigid insulation
- Placing electrical above BFE
- Water resistant cork flooring
- Floor joists made of open web wood trusses
- Composite exterior sheathing
- Elevated floor
Furthermore, to make the house more resilient, hot water and electricity systems have been included. They provide energy and hot water when a hurrican has taken place.
We want to congrat the team of SURE House for the award in Solar Decathlon. And we hope that other similar challenges will be held in a foreseeable future. You can visit SURE House website to know more about the project.