The Roofpod is more than just a house, more than an energy source or a garden; it is a piece of urban infrastructure, part of an integrated system to simultaneously address the challenges of electrical energy production, heating and cooling, stormwater retention, heat island effect, urban wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration with biomass.
Rooftops of buildings in cities are largely underutilized, yet they offer true potential as living spaces because of their direct access to sun, wind and water. Designed for flat rooftops of existing mid-rise residential or commercial buildings, Team New York's Solar Roofpod enables eco-conscious urban dwellers to live sustainably, as stewards of a more resilient urban environment: cost-effectively collecting and providing solar power, cultivating roof gardens, and recycling stormwater. Our modular, flexible penthouse design uses lightweight, durable, renewable materials, smartly incorporating photovoltaic technologies and high-efficiency lighting. Innovative solar thermal collectors supply clean energy for hot water, heating and cooling.
We have conceived a way of contributing power to urban environments in a distributed manner, with sophisticated control systems. Collectively, Solar Roofpods, green roofs, and rooftop PV arrays can form a new layer of resilient urban infrastructure, with multiple benefits, many specifically addressing the challenges laid out in PlaNYC 2030, New York City’s comprehensive sustainability plan. City residents already have a much lower carbon footprint than suburbanites; our Roofpod will make the cities we value perform even better. We hope to demonstrate the technical feasibility and many environmental benefits of individual “smart system” Roofpods and gardens as well as the new infrastructural system they would form. As architecture and engineering students, we are the future custodians of New York City. Many of us in Team New York came here as immigrants from all over the world; we see tremendous potential to enhance our diverse and vibrant global city through innovative design.