Core Principles

The SURE HOUSE home is based around three simple primary concepts: first we use less energy through smart design, next we generate all the energy we do need from renewable solar electric, and finally we ensure that the home is capable of providing resilient power during electrical outages. These guiding principles have shaped our design and are key to creating a sustainable and resilient home.

1. 90% Less Energy Use

The SURE HOUSE design focuses first on reducing energy consumption before introducing renewable energy technologies. By focusing on simple, effective solutions such as increasing our insulation levels, rigorously air sealing the envelope, using high-performance glazing and heat-recovery ventilation we can reduce the heating and cooling energy needs of our home by 90%. These simple design measures, when coupled with high-efficiency appliances, lighting and hot-water mean that our home will need only a tiny fraction of the energy that a ‘typical’ home would.

ENGINEERING INNOVATIONS THAT SUPPORT THIS PRINCIPLE:

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2. Fully Solar Powered

The SURE HOUSE’s rooftop solar array will provide enough power to supply all of the home’s energy needs over the course of a year. By prioritizing energy-conservation through smart design, we’re able to dramatically reduce the total size and cost of this system while still delivering a reliable, comfortable and economic system. The SURE HOUSE will also feature custom Building Integrated Photovoltaics on the storm-shutters which are capable of producing up to 70% of the home’s hot-water, replacing cumbersome and expensive solar-thermal systems with an elegant electrical PV solution.

ENGINEERING INNOVATIONS THAT SUPPORT THIS PRINCIPLE:

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3. Resilient Energy Hub

The impact of Hurricane Sandy, which made landfall in October 2012, cannot be overstated. With over $68 billion dollars in damage, over 280 people killed and almost 350,000 homes damaged or destroyed in New Jersey alone, Hurricane Sandy has redefined what it means to live along the shore today. The SURE HOUSE prototype addresses the need for sustainable, resilient homes in communities along the New Jersey and New York shorelines.

Our storm shutter system ensures the home’s safety during seasonal storms and hurricanes. The multi-purpose storm shutter doors protect the house against additional loads experienced during intense storms, while providing shading on sunny summer days, and maximizing winter solar gain. In addition to protection, our shutters also deliver emergency power with inverter-less DC photovoltaic panels capable of providing electricity as well as hot water when the power grid is down. The SURE HOUSE’s resilient systems offer not only the reassurance of having a minimally damaged home after a storm event, but one that can act as an emergency community hub, providing emergency electricity for its neighbors.

ENGINEERING INNOVATIONS THAT SUPPORT THIS PRINCIPLE:

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Hoboken, NJ
55° F
Overcast
Irvine, CA
53° F
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WE DID IT!
Glossary

Fiber-Composite

The fiber-composites on the SURE HOUSE are advanced materials which utilize a sophisticated matrix of reinforcement... Learn More