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Drexel Smart House Receives NOVA Award for Green Innovation

Drexel Smart House Exterior Rendering Drexel Smart House Logo Drexel Smart House Interior Rendering Drexel Smart House Interior Rendering

The Drexel Smart House has been selected by the World Green Energy Symposium (WGES) to receive a 2011 NOVA Award during the third annual symposium from October 19-21, 2011, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The Smart House was nominated in the Educational Case Study category for its student-led, multidisciplinary approach to developing a sustainable model for urban residential living and entrepreneurial innovation.

The WGES NOVA Award is presented annually to those who have made outstanding contributions in the area of new and green energy alternatives and/or sustainable innovations in existing energy technologies. The City of Philadelphia also will be recognized with a NOVA Award for its Greenworks program, as will the country of Brazil for its sustainable strategic plan in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

"We are pleased to recognize the Drexel Smart House as one of the 2011 NOVA Award recipients," said Robert Gallagher, executive chair of the WGES Organizing Committee. "The three recipients have set the standard in sustainable leadership. Their case studies showcase their impact both economically and environmentally."

The Drexel Smart House (DSH) project will transform a late 19th century Powelton Village residence just blocks from Drexel's University City Main Campus into a "living laboratory" for exploring cutting-edge design and technology. Participants conduct research and develop designs in the areas of environment, energy, interaction, health, and lifestyle with the goal of improving quality of life in the urban residential setting. Founded within the Pennoni Honors College, the project now engages students, faculty, and staff from seven of Drexel's colleges.

Two student-developed technologies, which will be implemented in the house, have already received provisional patent protection, and two spin-off companies were created from DSH research projects. DSH has raised more than $300,000 in research funding through grants and awards for student proposed research, including a recent $75,000 Federal EPA P3 Grant (Fourth Year). The project has also been awarded a $25,000 NCIIA grant to establish a seed fund in order to disperse micro-grants to students in the prototyping phase.

The house will include quarters for eight students, a residential assistant, and a guest. A rear addition will house a classroom for University use and community outreach, and a third floor indoor/outdoor room complete with an accessible green roof. On the exterior, the facade will undergo masonry restoration and a new porch, roof, and front steps will be installed to further restore the building's historic presence. Site work and building accessibility will be addressed at the west side. There, the new rear wing adds a rain screen breathable wall system into the existing palette of stone, brick, and wood materials. The north side boasts homage to passive ventilation in a new three-story solar chimney and operable glazing systems.

Drexel Smart House strives to contribute to Powelton Village’s sustainability and longevity by increasing environmental awareness and action. Smart House will showcase the idea that rehabilitation and adaptive reuse have great potential in the area. Enabling residents and researchers to collaborate in a multi-disciplinary manner will continue to encourage innovation in engineering, architecture, design and business.

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Visit the Drexel Smart House web site.