A team of students from City Tech have finished a prototype for a solar powered, passive, pre-fab house that just might become the norm in the future. The DURA house, which stands for Diverse, Urban, Resilient, Adaptable was built with the changing needs of the city and its residents in mind, especially in a post-Hurricane Sandy New York, DNAinfo reports. The prototype is a roughly 1,000 square foot stackable structure that's sided in part in solar panels, and is also air-tight to help it meet passive house standards. The interior of the prototype can be reconfigured, helping it meet the needs of its residents. For example, an office can be closed off into a second bedroom, a desk can turn into bunk beds, and the front porchthere's a back porch, toocan serve as an eating area with a stove that moves between it and the kitchen. The home costs about $300,000 to build. "With passive houses, the energy savings outweigh the costs," an assistant faculty member advising Team DURA told DNAinfo.
The DURA prototype is open for tours on Thursday evening in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, but will be making its way to the U.S. Department of Energy's biannual Solar Decathalon, where it will compete against 20 other model homes. The DURA team had the advantage of designing a structure for a unique urban environment, where unbuilt space is uncommon and what's available is small. Other teams of scientists and builders have been working on resilient housing prototypes for within the city, but this field doesn't seem like one that could get too crowded.
· Here's the Apartment of the Future: It's Efficient and Affordable [DNAinfo]
· DURA House Visit RSVP [official]
· Mapping New York City's Booming Passive House Movement [Curbed]
· New Yorkers Could Live In This Pre-Fab Housing After Sandy 2.0 [Curbed]
· All Passive Houses coverage [Curbed]