SHADE / Solar Decathlon project

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SHADE / Solar Decathlon project

SHADE: Solar Homes Adapted for Desert Equilibrium is a prototype designed and constructed for the U.S. Department of Energy's 2013 Solar Decathlon, a biannual International Competition for net-zero homes built with integrated photovoltaics and other sustainable features and technologies. SHADE employs a number of passive design strategies - self-shading, ventilated facade, optimal volume and orientation - along with a number of sustainable technologies - radiant cooling, phase change materials, and energy recovery to respond to our extreme, urbanized Sonoran Desert environment. 

Graduate and undergraduate students in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and the Master of Science in the Built Environment Programs from the Design School worked together with Engineering students from the University of New Mexico, and a number of industry professionals to design and build SHADE. Our students had the unique opportunity to carry the project from conceptual and schematic design, through design development and construction documentation. These students were involved throughout the construction process, for fabrication, assembly, construction administration, transportation, and installation. During the 2013 Solar Decathlon roughly 50,000 guests toured the prototype. Master of Landscape Architecture student, Ali Abbaszadegan, won an American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA) award for his design of the native plant materials.

SHADE is currently being utilized by the local non-profit, Keep PHX Beautiful and the City of Phoenix Department of Public Works, at the 15-acre demonstration site of PHX Renews at Steele Park, Central Avenue and Indian School, it is used as the headquarters for Phoenix Renew. Arizona Public Service (APS) has provided continued research support and partnership, most recently for an extensive study of the energy savings benefits of pairing radiant cooling with distributed phase change materials within the prototype. Two of innovative technologies the team incorporated into their final design, were a thermal storage material called Phase Change Materials (PCM) in the ceiling and a hydronic capillary tube system that charged the PCM. While SHADE was designed to operate in a hot arid climate, system testing was only performed at the Solar Decathlon site (Irvine, California) in October 2013. Thus, none of the cooling features of this design were ever tested in the climate for which they were designed. During the summer of 2015, several faculty and students from The Design School with support from APS used the SHADE house to test its cooling features. In addition, SHADE was extensively instrumented with all data available on real-time monitors as well as on a dedicated website. Therefore, this project continues to build on previous work by generating the real-world data necessary for the commercialization of important hybrid cooling and storage technologies that can potentially have regional impact. 

Solar Decathlon | SHADE

SHADE returns to Phoenix!

Current research status
Performance data for the summer of 2015 has been completed and a final report and conference paper are presently in progress.

A complete list of students and partners involved in SHADE can be provided upon request. Many notable partners include: ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability, LightWorks, and the Fulton Schools of Engineering, as well as Arizona Public Service (APS), the Rio Salado Architecture Foundation, V&P Plant Nurseries, the Grainger Foundation, Resource Furniture, SolarWorld, and many other wonderful partners.

Current location of the SHADE house
Steele Park, Central Ave and Indian School, Phoenix

The SHADE house is open to the public and guided tours are available. Email to schedule a tour.