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    Environmentally Responsive Building Design

    Solar Powered High-Rise
    Using only sunlight as fuel, photovoltaics (PV) provided highly reliable, pollution-free power. PV power is used for space exploration and in the early 1970's researchers were just beginning to consider how to apply this revolutionary technology here on earth. SDA immediately explored the use of PV to power buildings and, in 1978, the firm designed the country's first utility-interactive PV system for a solar-powered high-rise building near Boston.


    Solar Resort
    In 1979, the developer of a condominium village near popular ski resorts in New Hampshire's Mt Washington Valley wanted to bring an environmentally responsive alternative to the market. SDA created a design that incorporates active and passive solar with energy-efficient construction and requires a minimum of purchased energy to operate. The generous south-facing glass looks out over a breathtaking view of the White Mountain National Forest and creates a beautiful leisure home while remaining energy conscious. Buyers responded very positively and SDA has since designed another solar-powered village for this same client.

    Carlisle House
    In 1980, working under contract for the US Department of Energy (DOE), SDA developed the first building-integrated PV system and constructed a prototype residential roof for evaluation by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Later that same year, MIT commissioned SDA to design and engineer a 3,200 sq. ft. energy-efficient, passive solar residence powered by PV.

    The 'Carlisle House', as it became known, features passive solar heating and cooling, super-insulation, internal thermal mass, earth-sheltering, daylighting, a roof-integrated solar thermal system and a 7.5 kilowatt-peak (kWp) PV array. The Carlisle house is the first residence ever to be powered by a utility-interactive PV system. It needs no fossil fuel and exports surplus power to the utility.

    Following on the success of their early efforts, SDA began to receive commissions from private clients for environmentally responsive residences powered by photovoltaics.

    IMPACT 2000 House
    In 1983, Boston Edison commissioned SDA to design and construct the PV-powered `Impact 2000' House in Brookline, MA. as a demonstration of future trends in environmentally responsive residential design.

    The house, which incorporates roof-integrated solar electric and solar thermal systems, was the subject of a national TV series on PBS viewed by an audience of over 9 million. Other features include a central, two-story sunspace, passive solar heating and cooling, earth sheltering, super insulation, heat-recovery ventilation and an earth-coupled, geothermal heat pump. After completion, the home was a showplace for educational tours on renewable energy and sustainable design before being sold to a private couple who are the present owners.


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