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2013 Solar Decathlon: Borealis

Team Alberta

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dmadsen, hanley wood, llc

Project Name

2013 Solar Decathlon: Borealis

Project Status

Student Work


U.S. Department of Energy

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Project Description


Borealis provides sustainable living and the comforts of home for remote working populations. Designed as modular prefabricated housing for the resource industries in western Canada, Borealis addresses housing shortages with a sustainable alternative. The remarkable natural beauty of the northern lights is reflected in the strong geometric design; the perfect backdrop for a beacon of comfort, sustainability and harmony. This is Borealis, this is home away from home.
- Easily transported as prefabricated modules
- Two residential modules centered on a shared service core, that includes kitchen and dining, bathroom, and mechanical room
- Individual outside access for each residential module
- Privacy for living areas afforded through the use of sliding doors
- Living wall in the heart of the house that naturally detoxifies the air and is sustained by the light brought into the interior from above
- Net zero energy performance achieved through the use of R-40 walls, a 10 kilowatt photovoltaic array and solar thermal tubes
- Fully automated control system that uses multiple zones to maintain temperature throughout the house
- Energy recovery system which stores waste heat to use for dehumidification and heating

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