University of Southern California SD2013 Audiovisual Presentation

University of Southern California SD2013 Audiovisual Presentation

October 23, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Southern California, covering 56 million square
miles and home to over 22 million people is not only one of the largest and fasted growing
urbanized regions in the country, but one of
the most geographically, ecologically, and culturally diverse. For Team USC, flux is
the term that best describes this condition, and is
the namesake for our entry to the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2013 Solar Decathlon.
fluxHome™ celebrates the idea of change by reimagining the suburban tract house as
a dynamic spacial environment that reflects
the diverse lifestyles and ecologies that typify
Southern California. The design begins with a simple yet efficient rectilinear envelope
containing 960 square feet. One of the first things you see when you approach
fluxHome™ is the thermally responsive envelope. Fabricated with Galvalume, the standing
seam rainscreen facade regulates airflow and thermal gain and provides additional insulation
for the house. The aperture system consists of folding and sliding doors and
screens, retractable skylights, and shading devices,
and oversized operable and fixed windows, all of which can be opened and closed according
to the weather and time of day. Moving around the house, we see how the facade
changes in response to the orientation and solar exposure. Windows are strategically
placed to channel breezes into and through the
house, providing cross ventilation, while larger openings on the North, South, and East
side are thickened, to function as porches and
verandas, and open the house up to the outdoors at
certain times of day. After passing through the folding window-wall
entryway, our gaze is drawn in several directions. To the right stands a galley kitchen
and island open to living and entertainment area. To the left we see the media wall, containing
a state of the art smart home control and entertainment center. Heading back toward
the center is the flux space, which can easily be transformed to accommodate various activities,
such as dining, entertaining, working, or even working out. Immediately above is a solar
chimney that works as a lens for modulating daylight and viewing the night sky, as well
as vent for exhausting warm air. a motorized retractable roller shade controls the sunlight
that enters the house and is easily controlled by the home owner. On the right side, is a
bedroom for two young children. Instead of conventional rooms that separate the spaces,
large sliding doors open private zones to the
public parts of the home, creating a sense of openness and community. As we pass through
the courtyard, we approach a breezeway that connects the master bedroom and 120 square
foot bathroom consisting of several micro-zones: a two-person lavatory, a two-person shower
and two-person soaking tub that have a retractable skylight, a water closet, and a washer/
dryer closet. Approaching the north end of the house, we
exit through a set of transparent sliding doors
and pass through a sleeping veranda containing another vertical garden. Descending down
the ramp, on our left we see the room housing the mechanical, electrical, and automated
control systems that can be accessed or controlled from a laptop, tablet, or Smartphone.
Finally, circling back over the house, we see the solar array and the apertures for
the solar chimney and open air shower, giving us another
view of the way that fluxHome™ integrates passive and active systems to achieve a net
zero solar energy balance. For team USC, energy conservation extends
beyond the design of a simple dwelling. fluxHome™ is not only a net-zero prototype,
but also a new residential typology for our neighborhoods and cities.