Design Zero Energy Building (2011)
Finalist in design competition sponsored by DOW chemical company
The main objective of this project was to find a net zero building prototype for future housing that could work not just on the Earth but other Planets. Building systems are integrated into a hybrid technique that transfers heat and loads. A network of pipes not only supports the Super-Adobe structure but also serves as a distribution system. Materials for Super-Adobe construction could be provided locally with almost zero embodied energy. The thermal mass capacity of this material improves the insulation level and energy performance of the building.
The Piping network connects semi-transparent solar panels on the roof, geothermal system, and geothermal storage in the basement. In winter, energy from geothermal and the sun is distributed in the surfaces and floors. In summer, this system works in a different direction; these pipes collect solar heat absorbed by building surfaces, and release the heat on the earth. This design accommodates three connected residences for different family sizes. Central atriums bring natural light into the heart of the unit. Lighting tubes integrated into the atriums intensify the quality of light as needed.