Ohio State University students have worked for three years designing and building the Pod House -- a state-of-the-art sustainable dwelling that packs quite the design punch within its 125 square-foot frame. The house perfectly demonstrates how green design can be incorporated into a low-impact house with all the amenities. The super-insulated shell, passive and active solar technologies, water reclamation, green materials and thoughtful interior are fused together in a bright green box that now stands in the COSI Science Park in Columbus.
The Pod house is a cumulative effort between OSU’s engineering and architecture students, who coordinated with volunteers and school faculty to explore the feasibility of green design. The home is now planted at COSI, where visitor can learn about its significant sustainable design elements and experience how good design can feel as well.
The shell is made from Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), which provide the best insulation in a small wall system. The front of the home opens to the south, allowing sunshine to passively heat the interior through advanced phase changing materials. The roof features an eclectic pattern of solar electric panels and a solar thermal panel, and grey water is captured, cleaned and reused.
The interior is a smart little space complete with a kitchen, bath, lounge and sleeping loft. Materials were carefully selected for their environmental sensitivity — in fact, a major concern for the project was to use common building materials and technologies to show how straightforward sustainable design can be. The Pod House is also a learning environment for the OSU Solar Decathlon house which we look forward to checking out this September!
Photos © Fienknopf