Undergraduate solar home competition focussing on modular prefabricated design strategies to create energy efficiency

This project responded to an individual design competition for technologically innovative solar homes. The proposed design, Lean-to, relies on prefabricated manufacturing techniques to reduce the embodied energy of the project while aiding in the ease of construction. Lean-to rests very lightly on the ground, hanging from the exposed structure. The lightness required to elevate the building demands an efficiency and economy of space, thereby reducing the overall footprint. Though small in dimension, the experience of the space expands past the edges of the volume outward onto the porch and beyond.
Plan and Sections          1 : Porch     2 : Kitchen       3 : Bath       4 : Laundry      5 : Living      6 : Ladder      7 : Loft
Perspective Section B          1 : Porch     2 : Kitchen       3 : Bath       4 : Laundry      5 : Living      6 : Ladder      7 : Loft
Section Render A        1 : Porch     2 : Kitchen       3 : Bath       4 : Laundry      5 : Living      6 : Ladder      7 : Loft
Critical to the design, even at the inception, was the idea of exposed structure. Rather than being confined within the interior of the wall, the framework for Lean-to is honestly expressed. The exposure of the structure also enables easy initial assembly and rapid erection, given that the piers have been set in advance. The thinness of the exterior vacuum-insulated cladding panels is only made possible by the load bearing properties of the external structure. Ultimately, the tubular steel frame is able to reduce the overall weight of the assembly without compromising any of its strength or insulative properties. This lightness is doubly advantageous, both for construction of the building as well as during shipment to the site.
Delivery and assembly of the Lean-To prefab home
1: Foundation Piers are poured and capped with a custom fitting enabling Lean-To to adjust to changes in site 2: Tubular steel external structure is erected and pinned into place independently
3: Steel angles are bolted to the structure and the SIP floor is laid inside and covered in a thin hardwood floor. 4: Custom manufactured  VIP panels are hung from the external structure.
5: Vacuum insulated glass windows and doors are attached to the exterior VIP panels enclosing the volume. Custom exterior panels are made of extruded aluminum with a vacuum insulated panel core achieving R60/ inch. Solar PV is integrated into the three roof panels in order to power the home.
6: Wooden interior walls and integrated shelving are installed contrasting the materiality of the aluminum panels. 7: Utilities are installed in line and all piping is concealed within a plumbing cavity. 
Special caps connect both the external structure and the steel angle supporting the SIP floor to the foundation. Pin connections and steel cables allow the external structure to be erected quickly and held at a perfect sixty degree angle from the ground.
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