May 18, 2011
Students from the Queen's Solar Design Team (QSDT) have won the first-ever Home Sweet Home Student Challenge, a provincial sustainable home design competition.
"We wanted to design a home that was beautiful, very simplistic, and required very low energy input," says team member Adrian Brett (School of Urban and Regional Planning). "We wanted to go back to that 1800s rustic feel by using rustic materials."
The students dubbed their house the NatuReal House, a home composed wholly of renewable and recycled materials. Elements of the design include everything from natural sources of heat, including large windows and a wood pellet stove, to efficient water management and ventilation systems. The group's design was named the best of the 10-entry field.
"I joined the design team because I really wanted to learn about the practical application of engineering rather than just the theoretical side of things," says team member Dayna Mailach (Mechanical and Materials Engineering). "We all ended up doing a lot of research in our assigned areas so we were making informed decisions."
The other members of the team are Laura Winger (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) and Brandon Mark (Civil Engineering). The students began working on the project in September. They submitted a 14-page report, a poster, and watercolour pictures of the house painted by Ms Winger.
The Home Sweet Home Student Challenge encourages university and college students to build "sweet" homes that are comfortable, economical, and ethical. The team accepted the award, along with a cash prize of $1,000 each, at a recent awards gala.
QSDT attracts students from various faculties; it promotes technical innovation and awareness of the benefits of solar power.
For more information about the competition visit the website.