Proj Overview

Project Overview

A team of architecture and engineering students from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Rutgers University entered a Solar Decatholon where collegiate teams design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The house had to be To meet the criteria of the decathlon, the house had to be solar powered and no more than 1000 ft2 (93 m2).

Precast Solution

The team chose a precast concrete home because it is low maintenance and durable; it can resist weather, chemicals, and moisture; it can contain natural materials and recycled byproducts to reduce its carbon footprint; and it has low to negligible levels of volatile organic compounds, making it a healthier alternative to standard construction.

To meet aesthetic and energy goals, the precast concrete roof was designed in a bowl shape and calibrated for optimal sun angle and rain collection while hiding the photovoltaics and solar collectors, which some consider unattractive. The roof cantilevers over the north facade almost 10 ft (3 m), which helps to create an appealing sense that the heavy precast concrete roof is floating above the clerestory windows directly below.

 

Awards
2013 Design AwardsDesign Award Special Award: Sustainable Design Award
2013 Design AwardsDesign Award Honorable Mention: Single-Family
Project Team

Owner & Architect

New Jersey Institute of Technology College of Architecture and Design 

Engineer of Record

ARUP, New York, N.Y 

Contractor

Skanska USA Building Inc 

Precaster

Northeast Precast 

Photo Credit

Solar Team NJ

Key Project Attributes

  • Precast concrete contains natural materials and recycled byproducts to reduce its carbon footprint.
  • Precast has low to negligible levels of volatile organic compounds, making it a healthier alternative to standard construction.
  • The precast concrete roof was designed in a bowl shape in order to meet aesthetic and energy goals.

Project/Precast Scope

  • Project Cost: $450,000
  • Project Size: 1000 ft2 (93 m2)
  • 27 reinforced concrete panels