Friday, October 26, 2007

Solar Decathlon: Visible utilities

Since the schools at the Solar Decathlon were permitted such small footprints for their houses they had to make do with what room they had. Instead of stuffing their hot and cold water tanks in a utility closet they incorporated them into the house. They wrapped them in translucent cylinders with colored LEDs around the top and bottom. Red for the hot water tank and blue for the cold water tank. My camera artificially enhanced the red and diminished the blue

The same school, from Colorado, built their own radiator. It's the divider between the kitchen and living room. It makes for a psychological barrier between the rooms while still leaving things open. It's also decorative. They pump either hot or cold water through the pipes to heat or cool the room. Someone asked about condensation. But being from Colorado they don't have enough humidity to worry about it. Lucky bastards.

Another school tore apart some old refrigerators for parts. The grill from the back that radiates the heat became a dual purpose decorative light cover and temperature control system. They lined the living room with lights like you see in the picture below. There's similar units on the roof. This way the house becomes a big refrigerator. They can circulate the heat in or out as desired.

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