The SURE HOUSE team is partnering with Popular Science to document our project as we work towards Irvine in 2015. We’ll be bringing you regular updates, in-depth reviews of the exciting technologies we’re using in the home, and give you a window into what its like to work the project. So check back often and check us out over at

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Less Energy Use + More Storm Protection

The challenge for the SURE House team is, “Can we design a home for coastal New Jersey that dramatically reduces its energy use while protecting itself from the realities of a changing, more extreme climate?”


How Stevens’ SURE House Responds to Hurricane Sandy

Welcome to the SURE HOUSE, Stevens Institute of Technology’s entry into the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2015 Solar Decathlon competition…


Flood-Proof Testing

In order to ensure SURE HOUSE is resilient against hurricane situations, the team created waterproof details that would stand the loads of flood water and debris, as determined analytically above.


SURE Construction 08: Floodproofing

SURE HOUSE students prepare flood proof sheathing to be installed over wall sheathing. The flood proof sheathing is an ABS Plastic which creates a continuous barrier around the bottom and sides of the home keeping our home waterproof to the desired design Base Flood Elevation (BFE).


3D Walkthrough: SURE House Fully Airsealed

We have our friends from walkTHIShouse scanning a 3D model of the SURE HOUSE at various stages in construction. Check out the previous walkthrough after the house was framed. Feel free to click/scroll around through our house in it’s framed out stage.


U.S. Department Of Energy Solar Decathlon Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition has 5 juried contests and 5 measured contests. The goal of these contests is to simulate the operation of a home and determine which teams have developed the most efficient solar houses.


SURE Construction: 07 Mechanical System Installation

The mechanical systems of SURE HOUSE have been designed with the comfort of the homeowner in mind. A Daikin Applied central air handling unit, coupled with a zoning kit, provides zoned heating and cooling for SURE HOUSE.

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SURE Construction: 06 Insulating

So how is the SURE HOUSE sustainable? We will use up to 90% less energy than a typical New Jersey home by adhering to the most stringent building energy standard in the world, the Passive House Standard.


Strong-Ties For A Sure House

Simpson Strong-Tie released its Flood-Resistant Construction Guide as a resource for installing the company’s connector products in flood-prone regions. The guide has proven to be a critical reference for the SURE HOUSE team as we work to design and build our flood-resilient, solar powered home.


SURE Construction: 05 Weather Protection

SURE HOUSE is designed to survive a flood. But in terms of water, exposure to flooding will be the exception in the life of our building. The rule will be constant exposure to water as vapor in the air and liquid in the form of rain and melted snow.


SURE Construction: 04 Roof Framing

SURE HOUSE’s roof is framed with engineered lumber for increased strength and to reduce thermal bridging. Since we have the unique demand of having to dismantle and reconstruct our house a couple of times, we have to get creative in order to meet our performance goals.


SURE Construction: 03 Wall Framing

A strength of our design approach lies in the simplicity of our innovation. Watching our house being framed you might be hard-pressed to see how it’s different…unless you looked closely.


Energy Consumption Monitoring For Homeowners

The SURE HOUSE is implementing tons of sensors to capture all sorts of data both inside and outside the home including measurements of energy consumption from our various appliances and energy production from our solar array.


SURE Construction: 02 Floor Framing

SURE stands for sustainable and resilient. The core of our approach to sustainability is a high performance building envelope that allows the house to maintain interior comfort using very little energy.


The Art Of High Performance Building

To meet the most stringent building energy use standards in the world, SURE HOUSE has teamed up with the air-sealing experts at 475 High Performance Building Supply.


Hybrid Hot Water For a Hurricane House

So you’ve equipped your home with roof–top solar modules for energy production. Along comes a severe weather event which disables the power grid infrastructure and prevents your grid-tied solar inverter from doing its job.


SURE Construction: 01 Foundation

We are excited to have started building the SURE HOUSE in a parking lot on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken New Jersey. “SURE Construction” is a subset of our PopSci blog that we’ll use to chronicle our construction process. Check back often to follow our progress!


Building Information Modeling: How The Construction Industry Is Getting ‘Smart’

If you are to look at the traditional design process you will notice it resembles a linear work flow; a series of tasks in which one trade tends to pass their portion of a project along down the line with minimal coordination amongst each other.


Storm Resistant Construction

For us, storm resistance is not just an afterthought. It is not something added to our building and called “resilient”. Storm proofing is not adding plywood over windows and hoping a quick fix can save your home. SURE HOUSE’s notion of storm proofing begins as an overall contemporary idea, which works its way down to the smaller details.


REsilient Charging Hub

Many of the students at Stevens Institute were directly affected by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy or witnessed the destruction of coastal communities first hand.


Passive SURE

For us, sustainability is mostly about energy: how much we use and how we make it. That’s why we’re striving to meet the most stringent energy efficiency building metric in the world – the Passive House standard (PHS).


Shore Architecture

As our team studied the past and present of New Jersey coastal communities, we started asking oursleves how do we get that 1960s aesthetic, style of living, and synergy with the landscape back in contemporary architecture?


Shining Light Onto The Field Of Photonics

Light based technologies have the potential to transform the 21st Century as electronics did in the 20th Century.


Shore Research

As part of our shore exploration we’ve worked to identify communities that would be a good fit for SURE HOUSE.


Welcome to the SURE HOUSE: Students Respond to Climate Change

SURE about what? We’ve all gotten the memo: climate change is real and it’s happening.

Hoboken, NJ
67° F
Irvine, CA
68° F
Partly Cloudy


Flood resistant construction for the SURE HOUSE means successfully keeping floods outside the home thanks to the... Learn More