When students building Northwestern’s entry into this years Department of Energy Solar Competition research-ed solar panels to run their house, they chose GAF Industries for the roof and Solar World for the panels. That is because GAF engineers have developed a new product called DecoTech which provides special fasteners and interconnected wiring for solar panels that eliminate the bulky frames that used to be needed to mount the panels on roofs. GAF is a manufacturer of roofing materials in North America and DecoTech is its latest roof-integrated solar system. GAF is donating all roofing materials, solar panels and labor to House By Northwestern (HBN).
House by Northwestern (HBN) is Northwestern University’s first-ever entry to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, a competition that “challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.” Upon completion of construction in August, our 1,000-square-foot house will be the most energy-efficient building on campus to date.
... The student-led House by Northwestern (HBN) will be a fully functional home, designed with integrated solar panels, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, and photo-catalytic surfaces that break down airborne pollutants.
Mayor Steve Hagerty, Northwestern University Vice President of Research Jay Walsh, and HBN faculty director Dick Co welcomed a crowd of more than 50 students, faculty, donors, and community members to the empty lot where construction is now underway.
In a matter of months, the gravel-surfaced lot at 669 Colfax Street in Evanston will give rise to Northwestern’s most energy-efficient building.
Designed with roof-integrated solar panels, ultra-efficient heating and cooling systems, and photocatalytic surfaces that break down harmful pollutants in the air, the student-led House by Northwestern (HBN) is a showcase of sustainable living.
Growing up, she wanted to be an artist. Today, Vivien Ng is a 19- year-old Manufacturing and Design Engineering student at Northwestern and the chief interior decorator for House By Northwestern, the University’s entry in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017.
How does a sophomore in college know what retirees want in a downsized home? “Since last fall, I have led focus groups on campus with seniors who are members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), listening, asking them questions and synthesizing all of the information they gave me into a plan of action,” said Ms. Ng.
The sun will not just power one of Evanston’s newest homes; it will also help to clean it.
Designed with roof-integrated solar panels, ultra-efficient heating and cooling systems, and photocatalytic surfaces that break down harmful pollutants in the air and keep surfaces clean when exposed to sunlight, the student-designed House by Northwestern (HBN) is a showcase of sustainable living.
In a twist many aging Evanstonians will appreciate, young Northwestern students are seeking their advice. This year, for the first time, NU is participating in the Solar Decathlon, a competition organized by the Department of Energy for which students design and build a 1,000 square-foot, solar-powered home. Each of the 13 universities participating in this year’s competition have identified their own unique target market around which their house is designed. NU’s team is designing a home for adults in the “Baby Boomer” generation that will serve as a model for aging in place in Evanston.
After months of planning, Northwestern’s first solar-powered home is set to break ground in May.
“We’ve spent a lot of time putting things together on paper and now we actually get to put things together in physical form,” said McCormick junior Bill Bach, the house’s project manager.
Bach said he is most excited to see the house come to fruition.
“I love that you’re just doing things that are actually tangible and will make a difference, so it’s not just an academic exercise,” he said.
With mentorship from a group of local, world-class professionals, the team is designing a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home that is beautiful, highly functional, and entirely sustainable. “House by Northwestern” (HBN) will be 90% more energy-efficient than the average home in the community and will be able to exist completely off the grid. The HBN team will seek LEED Platinum, Passive House, Energy Star, and Living Building certifications for this house.