Seriously aware of the looming power and energy crisis, New York but has come up with a practical solution to reduce the city’s carbon foot print. The result is a rooftop home that utilizes solar and wind energy, and sustain power for each construction in New York City, which is blessed with open flat roofs. This intriguing new design – christened Solar Roofpod – from the students from City College of New York exclusively for NYC rooftops – gives a constructive step to cultivate renewable resources. This solarprefab home is not just a striking rooftop home, but is manufactured to capture rainwater, excessive solar heat, and has inbuilt infrastructure to power an entire building it crowns with electricity.
The archetype has been designed by around 100 CUNY Architecture & Engineering students so as to compete for the Solar Decathlon. Solar Decathlon, a university solar house competition organized by the US Department of Energy, will be held from Sept 23 to Oct 2, 2011.
The NYC rooftops remain the most underutilized urban spaces and are apt to harness solar and wind energy. It is estimated that around 1.6 billion feet of roof space is available in NYC, which if adequately used can produce twice the power used by grid.
The new Solar Roofpod is meant exclusively for high-density urban areas and makes use of lightweight, durable and renewable materials that utilize photovoltaic technologies. Roofpod has an entrance made of a 9 foot NanaWall glass walls securing enough light for the structure along with a 9-foot opening at the rear for outdoor activities of its residents.
Each unit use 750 square feet of space, but is carefully designed. It has living spaces organized around centrally enclosed appliance area, colored light systems for indicating cautious use of water, and windows to usher in natural light.
The interiors have efficiently made use of bamboo and fast growing plants. Notable is that the Ornilux windows are coated with a unique UV pattern visible to birds, though invisible to our eyes. This idea comes following realization that over 700,000 bird deaths by windows have been recorded per year in New York.
The team of students for the two-year project was involved from initial concept to the carpentry of the cabinets. Interestingly the prototype developed also fits with the New York City’s 2030 sustainability agenda, PlaNYC.
There is no doubt that their work has everything in it to offer a viable solution to economic as well as ecological issues faced by the urban world. What is your take on this?