Hoboken Brownstone principals Daniel Gans and George Vallone are proud sponsors of the New Jersey entry in the US Department of Education’s (DOE) biennial Solar Decathlon, a worldwide competition that challenges collegiate students from across the globe to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, highly energy-efficient, attractive, and easy to live in.
The development firm — a leading innovator of energy-efficient building practices and technology – is one of the sponsors for Team New Jersey’s eNJOy house, a prototype whose design challenges traditional building techniques and suggests a new method of approaching high-performance energy-efficient housing.
Team New Jersey consists of students from Rutgers University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology who were challenged by New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez to collaborate on the entry and enter the competition which provides participants with unique training to enter the nation’s clean-energy workforce.
The eNJoy house utilizes a passive solar building design that manipulates the sun’s warmth and light to achieve desired indoor comfort levels and provide day lighting. It does this by using special building materials, design principles, and orientations. Passive solar design can be done independently of, or in concert with, solar electric and solar hot water systems. The eNJoy house employs all three methods of harvesting solar energy, allowing maximized energy independence and cost savings. Besides solar energy the eNJoy home will employ energy recovery ventilation and radiant heat as well as numerous other innovative energy savings technologies. Additional details and information of the entry can be found at www.solarteamnewjersey.com.
Hoboken Brownstone Company is utilizing groundbreaking, energy-efficient building science that is expected to set the bar for the future of environmentally-responsible development in the northern United States and beyond at Van Leer Place, a sustainable Brownfield Transformation Project on the site of the former Van Leer Chocolate Factory at 110 Hoboken Avenue in Jersey City, N.J. The project was recently awarded the 2010 NJ Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for Innovative Technology.
“Since we are already building an energy technology demonstration project at our Van Leer Place redevelopment in downtown Jersey City, it was a natural for us to get behind New Jersey’s entry into the Solar Decathlon,” says Daniel Gans, Chief Operating Officer at Hoboken Brownstone Company.
During the Solar Decathlon competition, twenty homes from sixteen domestic and four international collegiate teams, will undergo extensive testing and expert judging in ten different contest categories. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. This will be DOE’s fifth Solar Decathlon with previous events held in 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2009.
Over 75 schools enter to receive one of the 20 coveted spots for entry into the competition. New Jersey’s team was selected by the United States Department of Energy as one of the twenty solar decathlon projects. The Solar Decathlon is held every two years and it is open to universities throughout the world. The winner of the 2009 US solar decathlon was a team from Germany (Technische Universität Darmstadt). This is the first year that New Jersey has sponsored a Solar Decathlon entry and it is unusual that a team is selected on its first time applying.
The judging is based on a scoring system and involves ten contest categories, including; Architecture, Market Viability, Engineering, Lighting Design, Communications, Comfort Zone, Hot Water, Appliances, Home Entertainment and Net Metering.
The twenty eligible entrants to the competition will construct their homes in late September on both sides of a temporary street created at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park, on the banks of the Potomac River along the path between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials in Washington, DC.
The entries are also a popular public event, open to visitors who come to see the designs and learn about money-saving clean-energy solutions for their own homes. The public will be encouraged to meet the students and visit their highly efficient, innovative solar homes during the event. Specific public viewing hours for this year’s competition will be published at a later date. After one month the entire solar city is dismantled and shipped back to the home state that sponsored each entry. The winners receive scholarships and recognition by the DOE for their achievement.
The Hoboken Brownstone Company sponsorship grant will be targeted toward a special report to be published after the conclusion of the decathlon.
“We wanted to make sure that the Student Team and the Sponsors summarize the lessons learned and use that experience to make recommendations to insure that future Solar Decathlons become an even more relevant exercise in pointing the way to future and more energy efficient homes,” adds George Vallone, President of Hoboken Brownstone Company.