Solar Decathlon 2017: Team reACT

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The 2017 Team Maryland developed reACT—short for Resilient Adaptive Climate Technology— demonstrating that homes can help people live in harmony with nature while at the same time harnessing her gifts of solar energy, water, and food. Designed with influences from Nanticoke and Maryland (Delmarva) tribal traditions, reACT includes a composting system, hydroponic garden, vegetable garden, and movable “living walls” covered in plants. The project also demonstrates urban farming—an important facet of self-sufficient living.

The Maryland team invites you to think of reACT as a living organism, with six modules performing vital functions. Systems that capture and process waste, water, and energy allow the house to operate with complete self-sufficiency, and the house’s living systems are fully disentangled from structure, so the house can adapt as occupants’ needs change—for example, by adding a new bedroom module. Much more than a “one-off,” reACT is intended to serve as a seminal prototype for a "house as a kit of parts" design concept. This kit consists of separate components and systems parts that can be efficiently manufactured, transported, assembled, and disassembled. The intention is to create a home-building kit that can be readily adapted to a range of clients, communities, construction technologies, and ecological environments.

Features and Technologies:

  • A mechanical core manages the flow of water, air, and energy.
  • A central courtyard with an operable glass roof and wall panels extends the living space and acts as a solar heat collector.
  • The house demonstrates urban and ancestral Native American farming with a hydroponic garden, exterior vegetable garden, and movable living walls.
  • A barrel composter turns food scraps into nutrients, and a composting toilet processes human waste.
  • A solar electric PV array with battery storage; rainwater and greywater collection and treatment systems; and a composting toilet allow the house to operate independently.
  • Designed with influences from Nanticoke and Maryland tribal traditions, the house incorporates materials that consider tribal environmental ethics.
  • An automated SmartHouse data collection and control system package enables residents to follow and learn from the data it collects and use energy wisely.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 37
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    reACT Native American Client Research Report
    (2017-07-24) Client Relations & Tribal Affairs Sub-team; Stoltz, Angela C.; Harmon, Kyle; Gallardo, Justin; Schrantz, Emma; Fairhurst, Ricky; George, Shaliah; Molyneaux-Francis, Michael; Lagomarsino, Matt; HInojosa, Christine; Rockcastle, Garth; COSSARD, PATRICIA
    This report articulates and describes reACT's underlying principles and foundational theories of the essential role of the indigenous voice, and specifically Native American participation, in climate action.
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    reACT: resilient Adaptive Climate Change: preprint
    (2018) Stoltz, Angela Christine; Cossard, Patricia Kosco; Owoeye, Oluwadara; Kerlin, Lauren
    This is a preprint version of the article on reACT: resilient Adaptive Climate Technology.
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    reACT: resilient Adaptive Climate Change, AV presentation
    (2018-06-30) Stoltz, Angela Christine; Cossard, Patricia Kosco
    This video was first presented in a virtual Conference of the 2018 International Conference on Sustainable Energy and Environment Sensing (SEES2018). It reviews the sd2017 house technologies that wed indigenous (Nanticoke Tribe) sustainability practices and western technology.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-5: 3-D Walk-Through
    (2016-12-15) Team reACT; Johnson-Williams, Malik; Southard, Renata; Zain, Shah; Rockcastle, Garth C
    Animated walkthrough created from architectural renderings to date. This was used by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 as part of their media package. Team Maryland used it for various outreach and fundraising events.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-5: Architectural Renderings
    (2016-12-15) Team reACT; Johnson-Williams, Malik; Southard, Renata; Moore, Anil; Rockcastle, Garth C; Binder, Michael P
    Images, with exterior, interior, and birds-eye views, includes a .docx file with photographer credits.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-4: Design Specifications
    (2016-11-17) Team reACT; Campbell, Jamie; Binder, Michael P; Adomaitis, Raymond A; Hwang, Yunho; Rockcastle, Garth C
    Construction Specifications, details of all material to be used in construction and their compliance with the appropriate Building codes.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-4: Project Manual
    (2016-11-17) Team reACT; Campbell, Jamie; Goo, Emily; Sudarsanan, Srijesh; Binder, Michael P; Adomaitis, Raymond A
    Project Overview. Detailed Water Budget. Interconnection Information Form, including summary of any unlisted electrical components. Summary of reconfigurable features. Health and Safety Approach. Energy Analysis and Model.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-4: 90% Complete Design Drawings
    (2016-11-17) Team reACT; Johnson-Williams, Malik; Oh Boun, Sandra; Elmahadi, Alla; Rockcastle, Garth C; Binder, Michael P
    90% complete construction documentation: General, including solar envelope compliance, accessible tour route, finished square footage, water delivery and removal compliance information, and constructed footprint calculations. Site, including temporary footing locations, ground penetrations, and adjustable footings. Landscape, including plantings, containers, and watering methodology. Structural, including building, decking, and associated structures. Architectural, including dimensioned floorplans, building sections, detailed sections, reflected ceiling plans, roof plans, elevations, window and door schedules, and exterior structures. Interiors, including finishes, furniture layout, and cabinetry. Fire Protection, including sprinklers and required detection systems. Plumbing, including layout, schedules, and diagrams. Mechanical, including layout, schedules, diagrams, and installation requirements. Electrical, including AC and DC layout, 1-line diagrams, 3-line diagrams, and sizing calculations. Telecommunications, including instrumentation, wiring, and associated elements. Operations, including house transportation, assembly methodology, and staging.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-9: Final Report
    (2017-11-16) Team reACT; Habib, Sophie; Elmahadi, Alla; Johnson-Williams, Malik; Cossard, Patricia Kosco; Rockcastle, Garth C; Binder, Michael P; Adomaitis, Raymond A
    Impact statement, including: summary of fundraising activities, final project budget, results of media-outreach activities (statistics), results of on-site exhibition activities, estimates of the number of visitors, assessment of visitor experiences,evaluation of the team’s online presence, including statistics, team perspective on the effectiveness of the organizers, future plans for the house, and team officer’s future employment or educational plans.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-3: Team Overview To Date
    (2016-09-15) Team reACT; Campbell, Jamie; Cossard, Patricia Kosco; Rockcastle, Garth C
    Updated 100-word description of team and its goals (second iteration); Digital representation (renderings, graphic floor plan, photography of scale model, animation, etc.) of competition prototype design; Team photograph; Summary of unique project elements, considerations, innovations, research, or technology being considered; Summary of team’s current online presence, including social media accounts and website address; Summary of public outreach conducted and press coverage achieved to-date.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-8: Audiovisual presentation
    (2017-08-10) Team reACT; Fairhurst, Ricky; Oh Boun, Sandra; Johnson-Williams, Malik; Rockcastle, Garth C
    Audiovisual presentation including a realistic video walkthrough of the complete constructed house as built prior to competition, audio narrative explaining the underlying philosophy behind the design and team approach, still photos and graphics. Includes an audio narrative and transcript that explains to viewers what they’re seeing and describes the underlying philosophy behind the design and team approach to the competition.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-8: As-built specifications
    (2017-08-10) Team reACT; Andros, Whitney Paige; Elmahadi, Alla; Binder, Michael P
    As-built specifications including construction specifications with sufficient detail for a residential general contractor to build without additional input from the team.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-8: As-built drawings
    (2017-08-10) Team reACT; Oh Boun, Sandra; Johnson-Williams, Malik; Goldstein, Gregory; Rockcastle, Garth C; Binder, Michael P
    Reviewed by a professional cost estimator, this documents the exact estimated construction cost based on the as-built construction documentation. Cost estimates include all labor, material, and equipment costs necessary to construct the competition prototype. Pricing is based on the following hierarchy of sources: a. RS Means Cost Guides for the current year (current year and adjusted to the national average location factor, wage rate, and average material index); b. Distributor pricing, with labor added; c. Web-based materials search, with labor added; d. Estimator’s experience.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-8: Water Narrative
    (2017-08-10) Team reACT; Goo, Emily; May, Peter; Binder, Michael P
    In 2011, Team Maryland’s WaterShed won first place in part due to the inclusion of water use as a design focus. Since then Solar Decathlon teams have consistently integrated water use and reuse strategies into their designs. In Solar Decathlon 2017 smart water solutions has been recognized as its own contest for the first time. This new contest is important not only because water is a precious resource, but also because water and energy are inextricably linked—it takes water to make the energy we use, and it takes energy to treat and deliver the clean water we require. This conservation section of this report compares reACT’s expected use to that of a standard code-compliant house how water conservation strategies are integrated into its design elements, and how it encourages the homeowner to use less water. This report also covers the topics of reclamation and reuse and how react manages to achieve them, including how health and safety is considered. Lastly, reACT’s landscaping and irrigation design is explained and how it deals with climate, hardscaping, plant selection, and how it achieves energy and efficiency in water use.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-2: Schematic Design Summary
    (2016-04-29) Team reACT; Rockcastle, Garth C; Binder, Michael P; Adomaitis, Raymond A
    Mission Statement; Detailed strategy for winning the competition including a contest-by-contest breakdown; Design drawings and/or written description of the following systems and components, with identification of any unique systems and components that are being considered; Summary of potential innovations and non-standard elements being pursued; Description of public exhibit, communications, and outreach strategy; Computer-generated renderings of competition prototype design; Health and Safety Plan outline including approach to meeting OSHA training requirement; Identification of the licensed design professional expected to stamp structural documentation
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-8: Innovations Narrative
    (2017-08-10) Team reACT; Cossard, Patricia Kosco; Lagomarsino, Matt; Binder, Michael P; Rockcastle, Garth C; Adomaitis, Raymond A
    This report describes the team’s approach to innovation, from design to execution. It includes details on how and what research was conducted and how it informed decisions on design solutions. It discusses how the team integrated innovative sustainable strategies, products, and solutions, as well as how the house maximizes sustainability through the use of passive solar strategies, smart materials selection, and/or local considerations in the design. It explains how the innovations relate to and improve the lives of the selected target market. The environmental, social, and commercial benefits are described. Lastly, it answers the questions: Are the innovations durable relative to the life cycle of the house? Will the innovations improve or maintain occupant safety?
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-8: Communications Narrative
    (2017-08-10) Team reACT; Schrantz, Emma; Andros, Whitney Paige; Stoltz, Angela; Binder, Michael P
    Describes in-depth the efforts to educate, inform, and interest the public, including the communications strategy; success of outreach and education message; description of digital communications. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 teams must develop and implement communications strategies to engage their local communities, provide free tours to visitors during the event in Denver, and make an impact across the world through their digital presence and media outreach.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-8: Market Potential Narrative
    (2017-08-10) Team reACT; Cossard, Patricia Kosco; Stoltz, Angela; Lagomarsino, Matt; Rockcastle, Garth C; Binder, Michael P
    Market Potential including how the design and integrated design elements positively impact the U.S. residential energy efficiency and renewable energy industry, demonstrate exterior and interior appeal for Native Americans through material, equipment, and design details, sustainability features and strategies to make a positive contribution to the marketability of the house, the Native American market need for the competition prototype house and associated components. Livability, including design details that support a safe, functional, convenient, comfortable, and enjoyable place to live, design of the house’s lighting, entertainment, and other controls, and the design details that meet the unique needs and desires of Native Americans. Cost Effectiveness, including cost-effective value to Native Americans, market analysis, and integrated sustainability features that enhance the home’s market value. Build ability including, quality and detail to enable a general contractor to estimate and build the design as it appeared on the competition site, and the design response to the target site, client, or climate.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-8: Engineering Narrative
    (2017-08-10) Team reACT; Adomaitis, Raymond A; Dhumane, Rohit; Andros, Whitney Paige; Hwang, Yunho; Quinn, Bryan
    Engineering design and implementation, including Team approach to employing multidisciplinary collaboration and use the energy modeling and analysis to guide design decisions; Design performance of systems and structures, occupant comfort, proportional size for annual performance targets; Energy Efficiency. Long-term issues such as longevity, lifecycle costs, maintenance, and owner operation are addressed as well as how the building envelope design and materials manage potential issues from moisture, condensation, and mold. Includes complete engineering drawings and specifications and the Energy Modelling report.
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    Solar Decathlon 2017 D-8: Complete Cost Analysis
    (2017-08-10) Team reACT; Andros, Whitney Paige; Rockcastle, Garth C; Binder, Michael P
    The complete cost estimate is included. The estimate’s appropriateness, professionalism, and level of completion is reviewed by a professional cost estimator. This is the exact estimated construction cost the cost-effectiveness with regard to meeting team and design goals.