NYIT Students Build Home of the Future

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NYIT Students Build Home of the Future


This is non-show related, but a very fascinating release nonetheless. Hmm, that's twice today I've used the word "fascinating" - one of Spock's favorite one liners. Must be the Star Trek Marathon I watched a few days ago. Anyway, this is a pretty cool release discussing how students build a home powered entirely by the sun.

Below is a copy of the press release NYIT STUDENTS BUILD THE HOME OF THE FUTURE.

NYIT STUDENTS BUILD THE HOME OF THE FUTURE

With 100 Percent Solar Power, This House Will be ‘Run by the Sun'

Old Westbury, NY, Feb. 23, 2005: The countdown has begun! In just nine months, students from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) will descend on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to unveil their vision of the home of the future - one that is totally "run by the sun."

NYIT is one of 19 colleges internationally - and the only university in the metropolitan area - selected as a finalist in the global 2005 Solar Decathlon Competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

"The Solar Decathlon is to architectural, engineering, interior design and communications students what the Olympics are to athletes," said Dr. Alexandra Logue, NYIT vice president of academic affairs and provost. "It is a test of talent, commitment and endurance. It requires the unique ability to tackle 10 exacting requirements while designing, building, and operating an attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house."

The trek to the National Mall began for NYIT students more than a year ago. At that time, becoming a finalist in the competition was just a dream. But after intensive research by teams of students on ways to integrate environmental systems with living systems, the dream took shape.

"We brought together a panel of professors to review students' proposals and very quickly realized they had come up with a truly innovative, and somewhat risky option," said Professor Michele Bertomen. "Instead of proposing the traditional use of batteries to convert and store solar power, our students suggested using hydrogen fuel cells, which are non-polluting and absolutely guarantee that our solar house will be self-sufficient."

Electricity from a roof-mounted photovoltaic system is used to separate hydrogen from water through electrolysis; the hydrogen will be stored and later used to power a fuel cell that produces electricity and heat on demand.

Dubbed "Green Machine/Blue Space," the NYIT students' design consists of two main structures joined by an enclosed sunspace. The Green Machine structure contains most of the house's mechanical systems, as well as kitchen, bathroom, and roof garden for growing food and collecting rainwater. The Blue Space structure is designed for sleeping, relaxing, or working.

NYIT's Green Machine/Blue Space also is designed as a "talking house." Visitors to the National Mall, where NYIT's house will be displayed in a Solar Village in fall 2005, will be provided with handheld computers that can be used to obtain more information about specific technologies used in the house. By scanning bar codes placed around the home, visitors also will be able to activate a short video or voice recording describing a particular feature of the house.

Funding for NYIT's Solar Decathlon entry comes from a variety of sources, including NYIT's students, faculty and staff who raised thousands of dollars, and key sponsors including:

> Long Island Power Authority, which has a long history of supporting student activities at NYIT;

> Nationally recognized architectural firms: Burton, Behrendt & Smith; di Domenico + Partners; Ted Moudis Associates; Milrose Consultants; and Bentel & Bentel Architects/Planners;

> Major construction and contracting supply firms: Turner Construction International; Stalco Construction Inc.; TRS Container Corp. and Continental Lighting;

> Top furniture and hardware suppliers: Hafele, Hybrids+Fusion and Geiger;

> And additional support from National Photovoltaics; Plug Power Inc.; Symbol; Marvin Windows; Super Enterprises; Metropolitan Archives and Media Street, Inc.

Additional fundraising activities are planned to help cover the costs associated with this $500,000 project. In fact, during the spring and summer months, as the model solar house is constructed on NYIT's Old Westbury campus, there will be several opportunities for Long Islanders to show their support by attending open-house events. According to Pam Bottge, NYIT's Director of Development, opportunities are still available for corporate sponsorships or contributions of goods in kind. Interested organizations are asked to contact her at 516-686-7848 or pbottge@nyit.edu.

"Our Solar Decathletes are tomorrow's engineers, architects, researchers, business managers and homeowners," said Bertomen. "As an educator I can't think of anything more valuable than supporting their unique vision for living under the sun. Their project is a great example of nature and technology joined together in ways we've never even imagined."

Primary sponsor of the Solar Decathlon is the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which has again partnered with its National Renewable Energy Laboratory as well as national sponsors BP, American Institute of Architects, National Association of Home Builders, and The Home Depot.

About NYIT
NYIT is the college of choice for more than 12,000 students currently enrolled in more than 100 courses of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees from eight schools, including engineering, architecture, business, communication arts and medicine. A private,

independent college, NYIT embraces an educational philosophy of career-oriented, professional education for all qualified students, and supports applications-oriented research to benefit the greater global community. Students attend classes at NYIT's Manhattan and Long Island campuses, as well as online and in a number of programs throughout the world. To date, more than 64,000 alumni have earned degrees at NYIT.

Facts at a Glance
• NYIT is one of 19 colleges internationally - and the only university in the metropolitan area - selected as a finalist in the global 2005 Solar Decathlon Competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.
• NYIT's interdisciplinary approach brings together talented students from its eight schools - including architecture, engineering and technology, communications arts and business - in a multidisciplinary program to design the home of the future; one that is totally "run by the sun."
• NYIT's winning strategy is based on two unique approaches:

1. Hydrogen Fuel Cell: Break away from the traditional use of batteries for harnessing a house's solar power. Instead, employ a risky but exciting option of fuel cells, which are non-polluting, produce electricity and heat on demand, and absolutely guarantee that the solar house will be self-sufficient.

2. Design: Dubbed "Green Machine/Blue Space," the NYIT students' design consists of two main structures joined by an enclosed sunspace. The Green Machine structure contains most of the house's mechanical systems, as well as kitchen, bathroom, and roof garden for growing food and collecting rainwater. The Blue Space structure is designed for sleeping, relaxing, or working.

• NYIT's solar house also will feature state-of-the-art interactive technology. Visitors to Green Machine/Blue Space will be handed a Symbol Inc. Pocket PC with a bar code scanner. As they walk through the house, they will be able to scan many unique household items to learn more about ways that NYIT employed solar technologies in its design.

• A core group of students is enrolled in classes specifically created for the Solar Decathlon competition, and designed to help them develop ideas, and build and test the solar house.

• Cost of participating in the Solar Decathlon competition is estimated at $500,000. Monies are being raised through a combination of generous sponsor contribution, grants and student fund raisers.

• NYIT's model house will be on display at the Solar Village on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in fall 2005, when an overall winner of the Solar Decathlon 2005 will be selected.

• NYIT is the college of choice for more than 12,000 students currently enrolled in more than 100 courses of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees from eight schools, including engineering, architecture and design, business, communication arts and medicine. A private, independent college, NYIT embraces an educational philosophy of career-oriented, professional education for all qualified students and supports applications-oriented research to benefit the greater global community. To date, more than 64,000 alumni have earned degrees at NYIT.



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