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Silo House Uses Space-Age Aerogel Insulation


House Magazine

The CUSD Silohouse uses unique aerogel insulation to prevent thermal bridging from the house’s metallic frame, while permitting the use of thin insulation.  Read Chris Werner’s  take on aerogel insulation at the link below!

Read “New Insulation Options Include Space-Age Aerogel” from House Magazine (pdf)

A new CUSD is on the Horizon

Cornell Solar Decathlon is transforming in Cornell Sustainable Design. We have some big goals for the coming year, so stay tuned! In the meanwhile, you can take a look at the following recruitment powerpoint.

Download Fall 2010 Recruiting Infosession Powerpoint

Now that the dust has settled

All in all, a hero’s effort.  The team performed flawlessly on the National Mall in Washington, but four days of rain and subjective contest scores lower than we hoped secured a respectable 7th place finish.

I would have liked a top three finish, but really, our fate was sealed two years ago with this design and the size of our photovoltaic array – and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  This was the right house for CUSD 2009.  Building round was a challenge – building something so unconventional meant no dull moments – everyone wanted to see how our gamble would play out, and though it didn’t equate to points, we became the iconic image of Solar Decathlon media coverage, we ranked third in people’s choice, and we received the kudos of fellow Decathletes for being so bold.

Scott Albrecht said the stars were aligned when this team came together.  He’s right -  I can’t imagine a better, more talented, more passionate group of students working so hard.  For students, advisors, mentors and all those who contributed to the 2009 CUSD project, I hope this is the beginning of long-lasting friendships, reunions, and ambitious success.

Good work to all and many thanks.

CUSD using the mControl Automation System A computer geek makes life programmable

Saqib Rahim, E&E reporter

For a generation that grew up on computers, the “smart house” isn’t some futuristic doodad — it’s what you can do in “green” buildings.

Nineteen-year-old Jeremy Blum is a sophomore studying electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University. He’s in charge of the gizmos controlling temperature, lighting and more in Cornell’s “Silo House.”

It has lighting sensors that can switch off the lights when no one’s in the room and temperature sensors that adjust heat and cold automatically, according to the temperature outside.

The majority of buildings don’t have such building controls or people who know to use them, but for Blum, it’s almost second nature. Even before starting college, he had been fiddling with computer networks, microprocessors, circuits. “I’ve kind of been self-teaching myself this kind of stuff my entire life,” he says.

The Silo House has window shades that adjust as the day goes by, maximizing light, but making sure the house doesn’t get too hot. If the dweller doesn’t want the washer to run when electricity prices are high, he can tell the appliance to wait for a cheaper rate.

Blum and his team have “programmed” the house’s systems so they’re constantly sending data to a central computer. It sorts out the priorities and maximizes energy use as the owner sees fit, making efficiency automatic.

The Silo is one of several homes in the contest that route many systems through a single computer. Richard King, the Energy Department staffer who founded the Solar Decathlon, marvels that “some of these houses can be run by an iPhone.”

That doesn’t mean building one of these was a snap. Silo’s controls system includes dozens of devices, and Blum admits it hadn’t worked perfectly until about two weeks ago.

Fortunately, when he runs into a real pickle, he has a powerful sidekick.  “Just having access to the Internet, being able to look things up. Huge difference,” he says with a grin. “I mean, I can’t even imagine doing a project like this 15 or 20 years ago and you don’t have readily accessible information from the outside world.”

“Copyright 2009 E&E Publishing, LLC. Republished with permission.

Silo House takes 2nd in Communication

After disappointing results yesterday in the Architecture and Market Viability contests, the CUSD team was riding high this morning on the news that we placed second in the Communications contest.

Also, today the Silo House is featured in the Science section of the New York Times. The media coverage continues to pour in and with a number of days left in the competition, things are far from over. Continue to check back daily for updates! DOE Solar Decathalon showcases 20 solar homes and importance of state universities

Talking with the students in the solar village it is clear that they take all ten contests very seriously. In early years, engineering students predominated the teams. This year the team members from most teams come from a variety of studies. Along with architects and engineers, most teams take advantage of the skills of artists who design furniture for the houses, computer scientists to help create the computer brains that control of the energy efficiency and comfort of the home, business students help the team work within budget and land scape designers who try to meld the waste disposal function with art. At Cornell University’s house, a group of hotel students prepared food in their solar house for competing teams.

Continued at source – Students display home designs on the National Mall

Cornell University’s house stands apart from the other entries with its agrarian-looking design. The house consists mainly of three rusted, corrugated steel cylinders intended to reference the grain silos on upstate New York farms. The house is powered by an 8-kilowatt photovoltaic system and features a custom-made computer driving the entertainment center.

Continued at source –

Sean Tamon, Hotel School ‘11, Wows on Dinner Night

2009 Solar Decathlon

Sean Tamon, Hotel School '11, right, cooks for students from Virginia Tech, Team Germany , Team Boston. (Photo by Stefano Paltera/US Dept. of Energy Solar Decathlon)

On Friday evening as part of the Home Entertainment contest, Sean Tamon, Hotel School ‘11, and Kelly Chess, Hotel School ‘11, hosted students from three of Silo House neighbors. Sean prepared a seven course meal of his own recipes including:

  • Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Curried Rice Pilaf and Glazed Carrots
  • Goat Cheese Mousse with Pomegranate Reduction Sauce

» Click to view the whole menu.

Attendees of the meal were blown away by Sean’s delectable delights that combined locally grown organic food purchased at Ithaca’s Green Star Market Cooperative Market with his cooking prowess developed during his education at the Culinary Institute of America in New York City and work experience at highly touted restaurants in his home state of Hawaii.

Jetson Green: Cornell Silo House Takes Early Lead

Jetson Green Blog

Jetson Green Blog

Earlier this month, we previewed each of 20 solar-powered homes competing in the Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll try to delve into more detail to uncover innovation at its best.  This house, the Silo House, was designed and built by over 150 students and faculty at Cornell University.  It features three, 16-foot diameter silos that hold the kitchen, bedroom, and living room.  The Silo House is grid-tied and powered by 40, 200-watt photovoltaic panels, a solar thermal system, and a building integrated solar thermal system. …

With Cornell University’s contribution to the field, I guess you could say the silo home is becoming the new, well, container home. Gruene Homestead Inn in Texas took a 1940s grain silo and turned it into a one-bedroom, one-bathroom rental. Similarly, Mr. Earl had a silo home built in Woodland, Utah, and it’s received considerable attention in the past couple years.

The Silo House by Cornell has 800 square feet of space. NanaWalls open up, and all the rooms look out to a covered courtyard space. On the exterior, the patina from the COR-TEN corrugated steel cladding is beginning to set in and the home looks absolutely rural.

Continued at source –

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