The newest addition to our team, Alondra Ramos, is a primary member of TeamDURA, CityTech’s submission to the US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. The Solar Decathalon an international biennial collegiate competition to design and build energy-efficient, urban, sustainable housing that adapts to the needs of diverse environment and populations.
TeamDURA is New York City College of Technology’s first entry into the DOE’s Solar Decathlon Competition. The term DURA stands for Diverse, Urban, Resilience and Adaptability- all words that perfectly describe our project and what weaimed to achieve with in the design of DURAhome. After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, New York City’s infrastructure suffered greatly. Thousands of people were left without homes and unfortunately, many of them are still coping with those struggles to this day. TeamDURA’s urban approach to this catastrophe is DURAhome, an energy efficient modular home designed with the ability to adapt for various lots through the aggregation and stackabilty of 8 foot wide modules. This approach is meant to satisfy the quick demand for housing when the need arises. Equipped with a wall of solar panels, air-tightness to optimize energy loss prevention and adaptable furniture to maximize space, DURAhome is a diverse home which can adapt to the needs of many living configurations thanks to the open floor plan.
After two years of hard work and dedication, from design to actual building of the model, the competition will officially start on October 10th, 2015 with the opening of the Solar Decathlon Village Exhibition where the teams will exhibit their homes, and end on Oct. 18th after the announcement of the winners. The experience is once in a lifetime and has broadened my horizons exponentially in the field of sustainable architecture. The exposure to other teams from around the country, and their unique and creative entries will enhance my creative approach in the future. Win or lose, the competition will be amazing. TeamDURA hopes that through this partnership with the Department of Energy, we start to change the way in which future builders design and build housing to minimize impact of natural disasters and provide immediate solutions for housing for those who do suffer from them.