Posted on:

2015 Solar Decathlon: Sure House

Stevens Institute of Technology

Shared By


Project Name

2015 Solar Decathlon: Sure House

Project Status

Student Work

Year Completed



1,000 sq. feet


U.S. Department of Energy


  • Alex Guimaraes, Michael Signorile, Edward Perez, Chris Hamm, Tom King, AJ Elliott, Juan Alicante, Grace Gallagher, Kaitlyn Halloran, Paul Ahn, Andrew Mason, Paul Turrisi-Chung, Sarah Zahran, Elizabeth Lamb, Michael-Robert Lewis, Sonia Mantzouridou-Onasi, Christine Hecker, Allison Outwater, Jay Rana, Matthew Shubeck, Samantha Adornati, Avis Benjamin, David Santos, Kate Kalinosky, Luke Phillippi, Michael Frasco, Nicholas Tartaglia, Alex Carpenter, Greg Putlock, Matt DeFeligibus, Tom Beute, Sean Watts, Garrett Shevach, Catherine Kim.

View all (27) images

Project Description


Stevens Institute of Technology celebrated the completion of the SURE HOUSE, an environmentally sustainable, resilient house for coastal communities – one that could better withstand a storm the size and force of Hurricane Sandy.

The  SURE HOUSE will serve as Stevens’ entry into the 2015 Solar Decathlon, a biennial competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy which challenges teams from the world’s most prestigious institutions to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.

Stevens President Nariman Farvardin addressed a crowd of regional politicians, including Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, students and community members and explained how the team has taken the Solar Decathlon competition requirements a bit further.

“Hurricane Sandy devastated many houses on the Jersey Shore,” said Farvardin. “This Stevens team said, ‘We will build a house that will satisfy all of the constraints the Department of Energy has given us, but there is one other thing that we want to do – we will also build a house that is hurricane proof.’”

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer says that the home is the cutting-edge technology needed in the face of climate change.

“Stevens students were a big part of the reason why we kept everyone safe during Hurricane Sandy,” said Mayor Zimmer. “Now we’re here looking at how they’ve taken further reflection and taken their innovation to really help the people of Hoboken, the people in our state and the people in our country.”

Designed to meet the needs of middle and working class residents who live in the coastal areas of New Jersey and New York, the design of the  SURE HOUSE takes into account the new flood maps issued by FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, as well as the economic feasibility of innovative approaches to building in these neighborhoods.

The project was an interdisciplinary effort, bringing together students in engineering, design, architecture and other disciplines. Such collaboration prepares students for the workforce where they are learning to work through many challenges.

I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished, taking a relatively inexperienced group and working at a professional level under deadlines that are even unheard of in industry. To have the support of various sponsors has been amazing for a lot of our students to be able play with cutting edge technologies in their undergrad and graduate experiences,” said student A.J. Elliott.

Erik Linden, NRG home solar spokesperson, one of the sponsors of the home, explains why they are involved in this project.

“We were just blown away by the team because the spirit of innovative they had was completely unmatched in anything we had seen before,” said Linden. “All of you are in on the ground floor of something meaningful and special.”

Features of the home include:

•  Fiber-composite materials that have been repurposed from the boat building industry, resulting in a building armored against extreme weather

• Bi-folding storm shutters, made of a composite foam core and wrapped with fiberglass, installed to shade the home throughout the year and act as the primary defensive barrier against debris and water during inclement weather.

• Use of self-generated clean solar power, reducing energy consumption to 90 percent less energy than conventional homes.

• Ability to act as an emergency power hub for surrounding neighborhoods in the aftermath of a storm.

Stevens students have been working on the home for the past two years. They will disassemble the home at the beginning of September for shipment to Irvine, California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition, which begins October 8. To learn more visit

Add a Project
Publish Your Projects Show off and upload images, text, and video of your work. We pick the very best for our project newsletters. Upload

Join the Discussion

Please read our Content Guidelines before posting

Close X