The bright minds at the University of Maryland just sent us an updated version of their entry to the 2011 Solar Decathlon. WaterShed is an impressive one bedroom home that goes beyond net zero energy. Inspired by the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, water is at the heart of the home, but it also relies on the sun, wind and other interconnected systems for energy efficiency in hopes of giving back to the surrounding ecosystem. A half green/half solar-paneled butterfly roof collects rainwater for the home, which also processes grey water in a constructed wetland for use in an edible garden and green walls.
Although the University of Maryland may have a home court advantage for the upcoming competition, now set to take place at West Potomac Park, we’re not going to hold it against them. The small home is split up into two modules connected together by the bathroom, which is where the water axis is located. This core water system collects rainwater from the roof and then diverts it to services in the house. The remaining rainwater and grey water are then processed through the living machine, before finally being diverted into stormwater catchment.
One half of the butterfly roof is covered in photovoltaic panels to generate electricity for the home and hopefully sell it back if the conditions are favorable. The other half is a green roof to help absorb rainwater and insulate the home. A solar thermal hot water system provides domestic hot water, while a ground source heat pump helps efficiently heat and cool the home. WaterShed also features daylighting, natural ventilation, passive solar design, an edible garden and living walls. The student’s from the University of Maryland hope to show that by using integrated systems, you can achieve far greater efficiency and much lower impact.
Images ©University of Maryland