Sustainable WaterShed House Wins Solar Decathlon 2011
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There are a lot of sustainable designs who concern about alternative energy, especially solar panel technology in this year Solar Decathlon. This one is different, the WaterShed House submitted by University of Maryland. This kind of sustainable architecture concerns in water conservation. With some eco friendly concepts included, the design wins Solar Decathlon 2011. The sustainable [...]
There are a lot of sustainable designs who concern about alternative energy, especially solar panel technology in this year Solar Decathlon. This one is different, the WaterShed House submitted by University of Maryland. This kind of sustainable architecture concerns in water conservation. With some eco friendly concepts included, the design wins Solar Decathlon 2011.
The sustainable design was inspired by Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The design tries to provide natural environment balance, especially the water conservation system, so dependency of natural water cycle can be achieved. By utilizing special filtration system, rainwater and greywater are recycled and reused. To create a nature environment, lush native landscaping and natural sidings are available.
The butterfly roof of this eco construction helps to direct the rainwater into the the constructed wetlands, located along the entrance. These will also filter and store the water for further uses. The greywater will also processed in these wetlands. The microbes will filter out the nutrients from the greywater in 7 days. After that, the water may be stored for further uses.
There are three modules constructed the eco friendly house, the two modules make up the two “wings” of the butterfly roof. They are connected with the smaller module which houses bathroom. This bathroom will provide outdoor effect as it has large windows on either side. The “wings” covered modules will house the private and social areas, the living room and comfortable workspace. It is also completed by some compact and convertible furniture, such as working table that can be changed to a bed, hort stools on wheels that can be stored under a bench space in the living room, etc. The use of these type of furniture will save some spaces.
Some unique sustainable features are also available. A patent-pending liquid desiccant waterfall is arranged into the wall, and acts as high-efficiency humidity control. This apparatus is filled with salt solution and some small white balls, and this system will capture the moisture in the air. Some eco friendly products are also available. For the alternative energy source, photovoltaic panels are provided to produce 9,2 kW electricity. A 60 evacuated glass tubes solar panels in the back side will also capture sun energy to heat water. This home can be 100% produce their energy by these systems.
There is space that can be used for gardens, especially edible garden. This space can be accessed directly from the kitchen, on the deck space. A compost bin is available there for organic waste processing purpose. This space may provide deep feeling of nature for the house.
This eco friendly construction wins the Solar Decathlon 2011 with all of its sustainable features. Even the upfront investment is higher then the others, this house will provide proporsional (or more) long-term benefits for the users.