Stevens Institute of Technology Hosts Ribbon Cutting for Hurricane Resistant Home

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Stevens Institute of Technology celebrated the completion of the SURE HOUSE, an environmentally sustainable, resilient house for coastal communities – one that could better withstand a storm the size and force of Hurricane Sandy.

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The home is the cutting-edge technology needed in the face of climate change.

Student-Designed SURE HOUSE at the Cutting Edge of Resiliency and Sustainability

Stevens Institute of Technology celebrated the completion of the SURE HOUSE, an environmentally sustainable, resilient house for coastal communities – one that could better withstand a storm the size and force of Hurricane Sandy.

The SURE HOUSE will serve as Stevens’ entry into the 2015 Solar Decathlon, a biennial competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy which challenges teams from the world’s most prestigious institutions to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.

Stevens President Nariman Farvardin addressed a crowd of regional politicians, including Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, students and community members and explained how the team has taken the Solar Decathlon competition requirements a bit further.

“Hurricane Sandy devastated many houses on the Jersey Shore,” said Farvardin. “This Stevens team said, ‘We will build a house that will satisfy all of the constraints the Department of Energy has given us, but there is one other thing that we want to do – we will also build a house that is hurricane proof.’”

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer says that the home is the cutting-edge technology needed in the face of climate change.

“Stevens students were a big part of the reason why we kept everyone safe during Hurricane Sandy,” said Mayor Zimmer. “Now we’re here looking at how they’ve taken further reflection and taken their innovation to really help the people of Hoboken, the people in our state and the people in our country.”

Designed to meet the needs of middle and working class residents who live in the coastal areas of New Jersey and New York, the design of the SURE HOUSE takes into account the new flood maps issued by FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, as well as the economic feasibility of innovative approaches to building in these neighborhoods.

The project was an interdisciplinary effort, bringing together students in engineering, design, architecture and other disciplines. Such collaboration prepares students for the workforce where they are learning to work through many challenges.

I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished, taking a relatively inexperienced group and working at a professional level under deadlines that are even unheard of in industry. To have the support of various sponsors has been amazing for a lot of our students to be able play with cutting edge technologies in their undergrad and graduate experiences,” said student A.J. Elliott.

Erik Linden, NRG home solar spokesperson, one of the sponsors of the home, explains why they are involved in this project.

“We were just blown away by the team because the spirit of innovative they had was completely unmatched in anything we had seen before,” said Linden. “All of you are in on the ground floor of something meaningful and special.”

Features of the home include:

  •     Fiber-composite materials that have been repurposed from the boat building industry, resulting in a building armored against extreme weather
  •     Bi-folding storm shutters, made of a composite foam core and wrapped with fiberglass, installed to shade the home throughout the year and act as the primary defensive barrier against debris and water during inclement weather.
  •     Use of self-generated clean solar power, reducing energy consumption to 90 percent less energy than conventional homes.
  •     Ability to act as an emergency power hub for surrounding neighborhoods in the aftermath of a storm.

Stevens students have been working on the home for the past two years. They will disassemble the home at the beginning of September for shipment to Irvine, California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition, which begins October 8. To learn more visit surehouse.org.

About Stevens Institute of Technology
Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University®, is a premier, private research university situated in Hoboken, N.J. overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Founded in 1870, technological innovation has been the hallmark and legacy of Stevens’ education and research programs for 145 years. Within the university’s three schools and one college, more than 6,800 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate with more than 380 faculty members in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment to advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront global challenges. Stevens is home to three national research centers of excellence, as well as joint research programs focused on critical industries such as healthcare, energy, finance, defense, maritime security, STEM education and coastal sustainability. Stevens is in the midst of a 10-year strategic plan, The Future. Ours to Create., designed to further extend the Stevens legacy to create a forward-looking and far-reaching institution with global impact.

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Danielle Wooddruffe
Stevens Institute of Technology
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