The Solar Decathlon is a competition based on innovation, and tested in ten different categories. Success in the competition is no small feat, but is achievable with the right team backed by the right sponsors. Team Alfred is comprised of not one, but two schools working closely together (right across the street close): Alfred State and Alfred University. One of our sponsors that has played an essential role in the achievements of Team Alfred is Resource Furniture. ALF’s 900 sq ft space – thanks to Resource Furniture and a dedicated team – has transformed into a sleek home that is larger than the eye perceives from square footage alone.
A diverse team is needed to conquer all of the challenges and obstacles that occur when designing and constructing a home for The Solar Decathlon. From Alfred State College, Katie Dussing and Kristin Szkolnik are two well-known team members that have contributed immensely not only to the architecture of the home, but also to our social media and outreach efforts. On the Alfred University side of the street, Avery Sandler heads the club as project and sponsorship manager, placing countless hours into all the details of ALF. Amira Kessem, Dylan Tucker and Tchabelino Azimyt have contributed on the engineering end, working on deck design and lighting, load tests for the home, and other structural requirements. James Mayo, the electrical engineer for the team, has learned to work with a lot of new software in order to achieve the most accurate data for our home. Each team member contributes to the home in some way to help ALF reach its full potential come competition day.
All of these efforts are underscored by Resource Furniture’s donations, which have had a considerable impact on the design of the home. The multipurpose fixtures allow for spaces to serve several purposes, making the 900 sq ft home feel like an 1800 sq ft space. For example, a bed when raised into a standing position serves as a desk allowing a room to function as an office while doubling as a bedroom. The furniture allows for space saving not thought possible before Resource Furniture came along. Thanks to the innovative fixtures, Alf becomes a comfortable space for a family of four. Without this furniture in the home, ALF would easily be limited to a couple’s retreat rather than a durable single family house. For Team Alfred, this dilemma is easily avoided through well placed alliances in sponsorship.
For Team Alfred, the idea of a zero energy home that is not only affordable, but livable is no longer an enticing dream, but a reality thanks to a team effort like none other. Many other people have been involved in the home’s construction – from grad students, such as Saeed Azad to sophomores such as Sarah Malta, and more in between. No house is a home until there are memories laid deep in the foundation, and ALF is truly a home built on the foundation of teamwork between Team Alfred and Resource Furniture.
This guest post was authored by Jessica Scoones of Alfred University. To browse photos of Team Alfred’s house and learn more about the Solar Decathlon, click here.