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so trieb sie die Neugierde und der Wunsch, sich für die Zukunft sicherzustellen, aus dem Felsen heraus, um zu untersuchen, wer das schöne Geld hereingestreut haben könnte

so trieb sie die Neugierde und der Wunsch, sich für die Zukunft sicherzustellen, aus dem Felsen heraus, um zu untersuchen, wer das schöne Geld hereingestreut haben könnte
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Bob Thayer/The Providence Journal
Jonathan Knowles, associate professor of architecture at the Rhode Isand School of Design, right, describes the "soft house" during a critique session at the school.
BY ALEX KUFFNER Journal Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE — It’s not often that architects worry about a house blowing away, taking off like a kite caught in an updraft. But that was one possibility that couldn’t be ignored when the designers of a house made of a fabric that has the look and feel of sail cloth met on a recent afternoon at the Rhode Island School of Design. “It brings up an obvious point,” Peter Dean, assistant professor of furniture design, said as he studied a scale model of the house. “Does this whole thing become airborne?” His comment met with laughs but it also led to a serious discussion among the couple dozen students and teachers in the classroom about how to anchor the lightweight structure so it can withstand a strong gust of wind. It was an unusual conversation, but then everything about the Techstyle Haus is unusual. The 800-square-foot house will showcase the latest in sustainable design. It will use 90 percent less energy than the typical home. A 5-kilowatt solar array will generate all the electricity it needs. A small solar thermal system will provide all its hot water. The one-bedroom house will also be mobile, able to be taken apart in sections, moved and reassembled. And as the name of the house — pronounced like “textile” — suggests, the primary building material will be fabric, with the outer shell made of woven fiberglass.
The project, a collaboration between students from RISD, Brown University and the University of Erfurt in Germany, was conceived for the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe, an international competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to see who can design the most innovative energy-efficient homes. The house will be built in Rhode Island and shipped next summer to France, where the Palace of Versailles will become home to a village of 20 solar homes designed by teams of college students from Japan, India, Spain and other countries. The Techstyle Haus is one of only two U.S.-based entries in the competition. The project was started a year ago by Jonathan Knowles, associate professor of architecture at RISD and a designer of net-zero energy homes — homes that create all the power they use. Knowles helped lead the RISD team that entered a design in the 2005 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. That house is now used for faculty housing at Portsmouth Abbey, the private school on Aquidneck Island. He had been wanting to participate again but the competition is expensive and the recession had made funding difficult. The partnership between the three schools allowed them to enter the 2014 competition. Four students at RISD and Brown initially signed up, but the team quickly grew to more than 60 members, expanding into many departments at the schools, including architecture, engineering, textile design, furniture design and landscape architecture.
Derek Stein, assistant professor of physics at Brown, is heading up his school’s contributions. Students at Erfurt are working on the energy analysis for the house.
“It started more as an extracurricular activity,” said Grace Wong, a senior RISD architecture student and one of the original members of the team. “It eventually became a much larger thing.” Their idea was to create a habitation that would meet the standards for what’s known as a passive house, a structure that is so well-insulated and sealed so tight that it needs little, if any, heating. “The analogy they use is that you only need a hair dryer to heat your home,” said Knowles. The tiny energy footprint is not the only feature that sets the fully-functioning house apart from traditional structures. It will also have a small materials footprint. It won’t use any drywall and only a minimum of wood. The curvy structure will be supported by a series of ribs, with an interior lined in a fabric designed at RISD and an exterior made of SheerFill, a durable fiberglass material that has been used on roofs for stadiums and shopping centers but never for entire houses. Flexible photovoltaic cells to generate power will be embedded in the fiberglass, so the roof won’t be encumbered by bulky solar panels. That has also never been done before, said Knowles. Part of the roof will be translucent to let in natural light. Walls of glass at either end of the house will also maximize light exposure and help create heat in the winter. Photoluminescent paint, which absorbs sunlight during the day and glows in the dark, will replace electric lights in places, such as the path to the hub that will house the bathroom, kitchen and mechanical systems.
“When you get up and go to the bathroom at night, you won’t have to turn on the lights,” said Kim Dupont-Madinier, a senior RISD architecture student. The house will cost an estimated $700,000 to design and build. So far, the project team has raised $500,000 in cash donations, materials and technical expertise from Saint-Gobain, the French manufacturer of SheerFill, and other companies, including Taco, the Cranston heating components maker, and Providence’s Shawmut Design and Construction. Ximedica, the Providence medical products company founded by RISD graduates Stephen Lane and Aidan Petrie, has cleared half its warehouse in Cranston to give the team enough space to build the sections of the house. A manager from Shawmut will oversee construction, which must be done entirely by the students. Team members showed their design at the U.S. Embassy in Paris in November and earlier this month gave a presentation to U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a leading supporter in Congress of renewable energy. The team is not just building the house for the competition. Domaine de Boisbuchet, an arts retreat in France associated with some of Europe’s leading design museums and schools, has agreed to take the structure afterward, place it in an apple orchard and test it out as a dormitory. If it works, the organization will commission up to seven more of the houses.
Under the rules of the Solar Decathlon, competitors are not allowed to build foundations for their houses or otherwise dig into the ground. They cannot pour concrete or drill holes. They can only hammer stakes in the ground if needed. While other teams will be able to sit their structures on the ground without much concern, the Techstyle Haus team will have a more difficult time. Unlike a tent that has guy wires holding it down, for aesthetic reasons, the house must be self-anchored. The exterior fabric walls will be cinched down to a steel I-beam. They will also be weighted with ballast. The idea is to create a type of modular home, one with a soft shell. “You can pick this thing up and put it anywhere,” Brett Schneider, a RISD professor of architecture, said at the final design critique last week.
But using fabric is a challenge. “It’s less material and a lot more engineering,” Knowles said. “It’s harder engineering,” said Montana Feiger, a senior structural engineering student at Brown who is coordinating the work with Saint-Gobain. So far, the team has built a mock-up of one of the house’s sections, but construction of the actual house won’t start until Jan. 6. The team must have everything ready to be shipped by May 1. Once the pieces arrive in Paris, the students will have only 10 days to put the house together for the competition that starts in mid-June.“We’ll have enough time — if we’re on time,” said Dupont-Madinier, who is serving as the assistant to the project manager. Summer weather in France can be volatile. Team members wondered what would happen to their creation if a nasty storm rolls through Versailles. “The beautiful thing about a big rainstorm is that everyone will run inside and hold the house in place,” said Dean.
Date: 2017-02-15 00:11:01

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Awesome!! Great info too !!
Gio-Photography 2014-07-14 20:32:13

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