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Florida International University

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Xululabs, Xululabs

Project Name

Florida International University

Project Status

Concept Proposal

Construction Cost


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Project Description

Florida International University (FIU) designed perFORM[D]ance House as an open pavilion that blends exterior and interior living, a response to South Florida’s subtropical climate and lifetsyle. Hinged, aluminum, louvered panels provide privacy and full-perimeter shading, and were designed as a prototype to protect against hurricane-force winds. A fully retractable glazing system encourages natural ventilation. The structure also features an exterior deck with a garden and bioremediating beds that treat stormwater runoff collected from the roof. “Our house moves, performs, changes, and adapts to the climate and the user,” says Deana Sritalapat, who completed her M.Arch. at FIU in May.

The team incorporated numerous energy-efficient features: The house’s natural cross-ventilation, canopy shade devices that reduce heat gain, and daylighting were designed to reduce demand on mechanical systems; a ductless air-conditioning system uses microclimate zoning to increase comfort and decrease load; sensors, timers, and remote controls provide system automation and increase efficiency; and a reflective white exterior reduces cooling demand.

The quest for affordability was a give-and-take process, says Sritalapat. The team used inexpensive, off-the-shelf materials for cabinetry and interior finishes, but the folding glass walls were a big ticket item. “Our house is covered in glass. And since Miami-Dade County has such strict codes, we had to include impact-resistant, energy-certified glass doors. That drove up the cost,” she explains. “In a real-world application, we would protect our house with the shutters. We plan to have the shutters tested to get them UL-rated.”
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