Project DescriptionFROM WESTERN NEW ENGLAND UNIVERSITY, UNIVERSIDAD TECNOLÓGICA DE PANAMÁ AND UNIVERSIDAD TECNOLÓGICA CENTROAMERICANA, HONDURAS:
The EASI (Efficient, Affordable, Solar Innovation) house is a practical design that achieves net-zero energy usage from the electrical grid. Team Massachusetts & Central Amercia (MASSCA) brought three universities together to design and build an efficient home for first-time buyers or a typical family of four. The team is an international collaboration composed from Western New England University located in Springfield, MA, Panama’s Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá (UTP), and Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana (UNITEC) of Honduras.
This cross-disciplinary project involved majors from engineering to business in the various aspects of bringing the house from concept to construction.
The EASI house is based on a modular design, with affordability as the top priority. The design of the two-bedroom, one bath, 680 square-foot model significantly reduces construction costs, allowing for emphasis on solar and space saving innovations. The house has a 20 solar array 5 kilowatt system using the latest micro inverters from Enphase Energy as a power source. This is sufficient for daily activities, thus making the house net-zero in energy consumption.
The EASI house has been made possible thanks to the generous sponsors. Excel Homes of Liverpool, PA, is the builder backed by the main project contractor, Fuller Modular Homes of Enfield, CT. Menck Windows of Chicopee, MA, is providing energy-saving windows, featuring the company’s innovative tilt and turn technology. Resource Furniture has increased interior space through the usage of its space saving furniture throughout the house. The EASI house also features energy-efficient fans with automatic sensors and controls from Big Ass Solutions to keep the occupants comfortable.
When the competition is complete, the EASI house will return to Western New England University and serve as an educational tool for students and the public.
Western New England University and Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá have also teamed up for the inaugural Solar Decathlon Latin America & Caribbean competition to be held in Colombia in December 2015.