Mythical witch Baba Yaga's tiny magic house could close itself up into an impregnable stronghold.. FIU's perFORM[D]ance House offers deep shading canopies, perfect for Miami's hot humid climate, that emulate BabaYaga's home by transforming into protective shutters.
The louvered steel canopies slide down like garage doors. Team member Anthony Madonna says the system uses off-the-shelf parts including louver blades and frame. Florida International University is seeking partners to mass produce and commercialize the design, which would provide shade and protection in any high wind area.
FIU named the house perFORM[D]ance because its autonomous systems “dance” with performance and "adjusts systems in response to user and environmental needs and in real time." perFORM[D]ance was also among the seven competitors achieving perfect net-zero energy with an 8.9kW 28-solar-panel system.
The excellent Web site shows how everything comes together. The modular house is steel-framed and prefabricated in two sections. Those deep porches and operable floor-to-ceiling glass walls enable this one-bedroom home to live much larger than its 780 square feet. It is also fully accessible. FIU expects perFORM[D]ance to achieve LEED Platinum status.
All wet/mechanical functions -- kitchen, laundry, bath and HVAC -- are in the central core. minimizing wiring and plumbing runs. The core concept permits a ductless HVAC system and also offers storage. Open living spaces surround the core.
Sensibly for a sun-belt design, keeping heat out is key. North facing floor-to-ceiling windows give this home an open-air pavilion feel. FIU cites Paul Rudolph’s Walker Guest House as precedent: “This house employs many of the concepts that were important for the design of the perFORM[D]ance House."
The ropes and pulleys controlling Rudolph's canopy/shutters may have inspired FIU but the students' blending of sophisticated technologies brings perFORM[D]ance.to life.
Large decks studded with specially selected plants and pools surround the home and serve as bio-filters to cleanse rain water. "These features showcase the coexistence of natural and man-made sustainable systems," the team writes, noting their hydroponic garden adjacent to the kitchen provides edible greens and herbs.
perFORM[D]ance House scored 15th in the Affordability. Estimated construction costs of $368.071.97 includes base home and all of its exterior decks, ponds and landscape.
Visit our 2011 Solar Decathlon page for more coverage of this and other winners.