Kohler products and technology take front and centre at prominent activation…
Towards the end of 2018, we shared a story on Kohler Co and Virginia Tech’s smart home winning the inaugural 2018 Solar Decathlon in Dubai, UAE.
More recently, Virginia Tech’s solar decathlon-winning FutureHAUS welcomed thousands of visitors for nearly a month in New York City’s renowned Times Square. Featuring innovative products and technologies from Kohler, the installation has just wrapped up, with recognition from visitors and companies who visited.
Kohler and Virginia Tech’s FutureHAUS features at Times Square, New York.
Attracting thousands of visitors to the “HAUS” in the prominent tourism hub, the FutureHAUS cultivated discussions and transformed mindsets through its thought-provoking ideas for the future of residential living and was also recognised as a finalist in the NYCxDesign Awards under the category – Architectural Installation/Pop-Up.
Visitors to Kohler & Virginia Tech’s FutureHAUS in Times Square
The FutureHAUS project originally won the 2018 Solar Decathlon held in Dubai, an international competition to build the best solar home. The teams had just two weeks – November 14 through 29 – to build prototype houses that ran exclusively on solar power in a public expo area next to the Mohammad Bin Rashid Solar Park. The goal of the competition was to achieve high performing prototypes of solar homes that could function in the extreme climate conditions of the Middle East and could be mass produced in similar communities throughout the world. Teams needed to think holistically about the cultural, climatic and social contexts of construction and to develop solutions that might help to create smart, sustainable housing in the future.
The interdisciplinary faculty-student team from Virginia Tech – the only team from the U.S. that participated in this year’s competition – worked on its house for the last two years, with assistance from Kohler as both a sponsor and consultant on the project. The company supplied design and technology support, as well as fixtures for the kitchen and bathroom in the modular, pre-fabricated home. Kohler also consulted on the 3D printed adjustable sinks, which use KOHLER Response® Technology, as well as DTV showering systems and smart features.
Click here to read more the story on winning the 2018 Solar Decathlon.
Kohler Co and Virginia tech are celebrating a major win at the 2018 Solar Decathlon, held for the first time in Dubai, UAE.
“FutureHAUS” is a unique solar home designed and built by Virginia Tech research university, with the support and technical input of Kohler Co in the US. Beating 27 other universities from 11 countries, the FutureHas Virginia Tech team had just two weeks to build its prototype FutureHAUS house, that runs exclusively on solar power, in a public expo area next to the Mohammad Bin Rashid Solar Park.
The goal of the competition was to create a high performing solar home – seen as the smart, sustainable housing of the future – able to function in the extreme climatic conditions of the Middle East. A key requirement was that it had to be able to be mass produced in similar communities around the world.
True Aging in Place
FutureHAUS makes it possible for a family to theoretically stay in the same house for life and have the home grow and change with them.
“We’re demonstrating how a house can automatically adapt to the needs of every individual who lives in it,” said Joseph Wheeler, lead of the FutureHAUS project, as well as a professor of architecture in the School of Architecture + Design and co-director of the Center for Design Research at Virginia Tech.
Kohler worked with Virginia Tech for two years advising on design and technical attributes that could achieve high functioning, smart solutions for both kitchen and bathroom.
The winning FutureHAUS, that enabled Virginia Tech to take home the $250,000 first prize, utilised factory-built cartridges to create living spaces that adapt to their inhabitants. Kohler provided technical advice and guidance on the water delivery system in the kitchen where metered amounts of water are delivered via voice control.
In the main bathroom the vanity top is 3D printed and utilises Kohler’s technological expertise to incorporate three sensors within the basin that employ the company’s Response touchless technology. Kohler has then coupled these sensors to three of its DTV digital showering systems.
What is the Solar Decathlon?
In it’s 16th year, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition, comprising 10 contests, that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy.
Virginia Tech was the only team from the US to compete in this year’s Solar Decathlon. The prototype houses were judged on 10 criteria: architecture, engineering and construction, energy management, comfort conditions, house functioning, sustainable transportation, sustainability, communications and innovation.
The Solar Decathlon supports Dubai’s stated goal to have the smallest carbon footprint of any global city by 2050.