Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Molly Johnson
Submission Date Aug. 17, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

The New School
IN-3: Innovation 3

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Gwen Kilvert
Assistant Director for Sustainability & Energy Management
Facilities Management
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A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

The New School is a finalist in the Solar Decathlon, a biennial international competition overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy, in which university teams design and build the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house. Its purpose is to educate student participants and the public about the many cost-saving opportunities presented by clean-energy products; demonstrate to the public cost-effective, energy-efficient construction and appliances, and renewable energy systems; and provide participating students with unique training that prepares them to enter the clean-energy workforce.

The 20 finalists will be displayed on the National Mall for ten days in Fall 2011.

The New School team, combined with the engineering programs at Stevens Institute of Technology, is composed of undergraduate and graduate students, with expertise ranging from engineering to architecture to urban policy and management. Our house will consist of two modules that will unite to form a functioning solar house: when the competition is over, we will move one module from the Mall to its companion module which we are constructing with Habitat for Humanity in Washington, D.C. neighborhood where families in need will become its residents.

Our house will incorporate “Passive House principles”—an international building standard that requires 90% less energy for heating and cooling compared to ordinary houses. We will further reduce our energy needs by using “symbiotic” building elements—such as an integrated photovoltaic thermal system and a lighting system that recuperates wasted heat.

The Solar Decathlon will ultimately involve dozens of New School/Stevens courses and instructors, hundreds of students, and other partners. A key goal is to leverage the competition to influence public policy to support sustainable urban communities through a proliferation affordable “green” housing.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

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