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Syracuse University, SUNY Students Design Home with $2/mo Utility Bill

Alfred State Zero Energy Home
A team of students from Onondaga Community College, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and Syracuse University earned first place honors in the the U.S. Department of Energy’s Challenge Home Student Design Competition in April 2014 in Denver, Colorado by designing a home that fits in a Syracuse, NY neighborhood and ultimately costs just $2 in energy usage per month.

Syracuse University Architecture Award28 teams from United States and Canadian colleges and universities created and presented designs for a cost-effective, zero energy ready home for mainstream builders.

“The team developed an adaptable, accessible Craftsman-style design that embodied responsible development,” the judges said. “The team showed leadership for the sustainable redevelopment of an existing community in Syracuse. The design successfully created a high-performance home that was buildable and appealing. They presented their plans with passion and conviction that showed a strong understanding of building science principles.”

The home design allows for an alternative energy system making the home completely self-sufficient for energy. The design also accommodates people with various physical abilities, including wide doorways, zero-step entry, and accessible bathrooms.

Other highlights of the home:

  • 1,925 square foot single family home
  • 2 stories, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths
  • Water heat pump tied to Solar Thermal array
  • Estimated Monthly Energy Cost: $2

The home is designed for a vacant lot on Syracuse’s Hubbell Avenue:

The team hopes that a local builder will complete the project–and their wishes may be fulfilled; a criterion of the competition was that the construction must be realistic. In this case, the median income in Syracuse is $65,000 and the home was designed based on mortgage guidelines that gave the team a budget of approximately $190,000.

Syracuse University, SUNY Students Design Home with $2/mo Utility Bill
Top photo: Alfred State College’s “Zero Energy Demonstration Home

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There are 4 comments

  • Homefloors says:

    Great job. Really nice design of cost-effective and energy ready made home developed by team and also nicely composed post that covering each and every highlights on home designing.

  • elizabeth says:

    would love to know if the schematics for engineering for the solar array and energy system will become available. Gosh, so many middle income people would be able to benefit.

  • James says:

    Awesome work, might want to look into using a 3D printer for greater savings on construction cost. It might free up money to find bigger savings. You professors should be submitting this to Habitat to humanity and look into recovering your cost with local builders first but, get a business developed out of this. Awesome job by our younger generation!

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