Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sustainable Demonstration Home Coming to CSU

By: Sam Hartley, Sustainable Living Associate
                                  M.S. Interior Design

IBE (Institute for the Built Environment) has been given the opportunity to represent SoGES (School of Global Environmental Sustainability) in the Blue Dot Demonstration/Research House, which will be built on the CSU campus in 2013.

IBE was introduced to Jim Gregory, an innovative thinking developer, who believes the construction industry should “move the needle” closer to sustainable practices. His purview is that current construction practices typically create large homes with leaky construction techniques, requiring much energy to maintain a comfortable living environment. An Interdisciplinary group of students at CSU, led by Brian Dunbar and Samala Hartley, will design and build the demonstration home to represent affordable and sustainable building practices. The home will have a small footprint, a tight and efficient building envelope, efficient heating and cooling systems (including passive solar techniques), and will consider water reuse and renewable energy strategies. The goal of this project is to share applied successes with other builders around the country.

The blue dot demonstration house is an exciting opportunity for students from many disciplines to experience the real world design process. The integration of their various disciplines will ensure a well-designed project from the shrubs to the solar panels and everything in between. Students are involved from the departments of Landscape, Construction Management, Interior Design, and Civil Engineering.

Once built on campus, three lucky students will live in the home each semester, where they can learn to live sustainably and share their experiences with others. The home will have real time monitoring of energy use for all to see on scheduled tours of the site.

The home will also be designed to be a canvas for research at CSU, both now and in the future. Current research will include rain water capture and graywater reuse. Behavioral research regarding sustainable living may also be implemented.