News + Updates

Up until October 22, 2012, the Jersey Shore was a place you’d go to have a pretty predictably good time. Then uncertainty hurtled into town along with a hurricane named Sandy. The SURE HOUSE, Stevens Institute of Technology’s entry into the 2015 US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, is a prototype for a solar-powered, storm-resilient home that aims to bring a level of security back to the New Jersey coast and other vulnerable areas.


Combining sustainability (SU) and resiliency (RE), the super energy-efficient, passively cooled and heated residence features a breezy and open 1960s beach cottage vibe that is SURE to make a splash at this year’s Decathlon next month. We headed over to Hoboken, New Jersey in August to walk through the structure as final touches were being completed before its big trip over to California.

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On Aug. 29, nearly 10 years ago today, a calamitous young hellion from the Bahamas named Katrina, having previously caused quite a ruckus down around Miami and the Panhandle, marched straight from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and slammed into southeast Louisiana with all her might. Floodwaters unleashed by Katrina’s Category 3 fury inundated the city of New Orleans and its surrounding parishes. Levees were breached, highways were submerged, roofs were peeled off of buildings, entire neighborhoods were washed away. Over 1,200 human lives were lost as were thousands upon thousands of homes.

Ten years of healing and rebuilding later, areas of New Orleans and neighboring Mississippi still haven’t completely recovered from Hurricane Katrina. They likely never will. And in those 10 years, there have been other historic and horrific storms, both home and abroad, including tornados that literally turned the towns of Joplin, Missouri, and Moore, Oklahoma, inside out and upside down in 2011 and 2013, respectively. And then there was Hurricane Sandy, a storm that, in October 2012, managed to bring even New York City to its knees.

Stevens Tech, SURE House


Crowder College, Shelter3

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One of the entries into this year’s US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is the so-called Sure House, which is powered by solar energy and also built to withstand harsh coastal weather conditions. It was designed by the students of the Stevens Institute of Technology in association with the PSEG Foundation. The aim was to create a solar powered, energy-efficient, cost-effective and also hurricane-proof home. The name of it is a merging of the words SUstainable and REsilient.


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Moxa is sponsoring Stevens Institute of Technology as it competes in the US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2015, an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.

Moxa will provide its industrial hardened networking equipment to Stevens Institute of Technology students as they build their entry, Sure House, a sustainable, resilient house for coastal communities engineered in response to the 2012 Hurricane Sandy tragedy that took the lives of 158 people and caused more than $65 billion in damage. For example, Sure House will sit on a bed of pilotis (ground-level supporting columns) to slightly elevate it out of reach of flooding, plus have durable flood-shielding incorporated into the outer layers of the house to create a waterproof shell.

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On October 29, 2012, the entire eastern seaboard of the United States felt the impact of Hurricane Sandy, but none more so than the New Jersey coastline, which took a direct a hit from the superstorm. Hurricane Sandy served as a wake-up call for the public, government leaders and policy makers about the devastating consequences of failing to prepare for the challenges of climate change.

For Stevens Institute of Technology, which has called Hoboken home since 1870, Sandy was personal. The city of Hoboken was paralyzed in the days and weeks following the storm, creating a state of emergency that was unprecedented. But at Stevens, Sandy served as a driving force in bringing together our best minds in pursuit of innovative solutions for a sustainable future.

Since Sandy, Stevens’ faculty and researchers have been working on dozens of projects to help predict and mitigate storm damage, but one major opportunity presented itself when Stevens was selected to compete in its third consecutive Solar Decathlon, a biannual competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy to design, build and operate the most energy-efficient solar home within budgetary and building limits.

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38° F
Irvine, CA
47° F


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