A team from the New York City College of Technology is bringing a new vision for post-disaster housing to this year’s Solar Decathlon green home design competition in Irvine, California. The group will be showcasing their Dura Home, a solar-powered structure that is easy to transport and can be stacked to create high-density housing in a small footprint following hurricanes or other natural disasters.
The Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition sponsored by the United States Department of Energy in which 30 international collegiate teams attempt to create attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered houses. Team DURA, which stands for Diverse, Urban, Resilient, Adaptable, is the only team this year from NYC, and will be competing against teams from Yale University, Oregon Institute of Technology, the University of Florida, the National University of Singapore, the University of Texas-Austin, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, University of California-Davis, University of California-Irvine, Vanderbilt University and University of Roma Tor Vergata, among others.
The DURA house design isn’t just suited for post-disaster housing, although that is the original intent. It can also be used for mobile and low-income housing in urban areas. The team developed the stackable design through a multi-pronged approach that included a hybrid of passive and active systems that can adapt to various configurations. The home, which NYCCT students had to not only design but also build, includes high-efficiency insulation, strategic window placement and a smart mechanical system to harvest waste heat all combined to optimize performance and maximize occupant comfort for net-zero, affordable living in a dense, diverse environment.
Once the competition wraps up, the DURA house will be shipped back to New York and donated to a disabled veteran.
Images via Team DURA