LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Caltech Institute of Technology (Caltech), global solar panel manufacturer Hanwha SolarOne Co., Ltd. (Hanwha Solar) and California Science Center are pleased to announce the unveiling of the SCI-Arc/Caltech Hanwha Solar CHIP House at the California Science Center in downtown Los Angeles. A ribbon-cutting celebration with Los Angeles Councilwoman and Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry, Director Eric Owen Moss of SCI-Arc, Caltech Resnick Institute Director Harry Atwater, California Science Center Deputy Director of Education Ron Rohovit, and Justin Lee, Chief Commercial Officer of Hanwha Solar, will be held Tuesday, January 17, at 2pm at the California Science Center at Exposition Park.
“SCI-Arc is an education and innovation anchor of the CleanTech Corridor, helping LA lead in sustainable design and architecture,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "I commend SCI-Arc and Caltech’s innovative use of solar power for the next generation of clean energy residential properties.”
CHIP was built by the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and sponsored by Hanwha Solar. It won first place in the energy balance contest at the U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored Solar Decathlon competition in September 2011.
“SCI-Arc and Caltech have really taken on the question of livability in American housing and offered a new sensibility for both its content and its character,” said SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss. “The CHIP is a welcome address to an alternative housing future.”
Through a partnership with the California Science Center, the house will be open to the public for free tours through May 31, 2012, giving Science Center visitors the opportunity to explore CHIP both inside and out. Tours will be available weekdays from 10am to 1:30pm, and weekends from 10am to 4pm.
Praised for its unique look, the 750-square-foot, net-zero home features a quilted exterior—fittingly compared to a giant pillow or spacesuit—where insulation is stretched around the frame rather than stuffed inside it. CHIP took two years, more than 100 students and $1 million to build. It would cost $300,000 to replicate the structure, including materials and labor.
“As a global solar manufacturer committed to building a clean energy economy, we are gratified to see Hanwha Solar’s photovoltaic technology used in such an innovative way,” said Hee Cheol Kim, president of Hanwha SolarOne Co., Ltd. “Through cutting-edge deployments like the CHIP House, we are providing an inspiring vision for a sustainable future. Hanwha Solar is proud to accelerate the path to a clean energy future by providing reliable, high quality solar modules that are being deployed at massive commercial scale today.”
CHIP’s progressive design was made possible through a transformative gift from Hanwha Solar—who was principal sponsor and exclusive solar module supplier for the SCI-Arc/Caltech team during the Decathlon. The house was equipped with 45 solar panels to power it through the entire duration of the competition and won first place in the Energy Balance contest. In temperate Los Angeles, CHIP’s panels generate three times more electricity than what the home uses—enough to power two electric cars along with the lighting, appliances, and heating and cooling systems. Most notably, the solar panels power an Xbox Kinect motion-sensitive video game system that has been turned into a master command center, allowing residents to turn lights and appliances on and off simply by pointing at them. A 3-D camera also sees occupants of the house and can automatically turn lights on and off as they move from space to space. This motion-sensitive technology allows residents to interface with their home in a more fluid, intuitive way.
The exhibition of the SCI-Arc/Caltech Hanwha Solar CHIP House at the California Science Center is made possible through generous support from Hanwha Solar and The Vinyl Institute.
The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) is dedicated to educating architects who will imagine and shape the future. It is an independent, degree-granting institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture. Located in a quarter-mile-long former freight depot in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles, the school is distinguished by its vibrant studio culture and emphasis on process. SCI-Arc's approximately 500 students and 80 faculty members work together to re-examine assumptions, create, explore and test the limits of architecture. SCI-Arc faculty and leadership have garnered more than 500 national and international design and architecture awards, including Progressive Architecture awards, AIA awards, AIA Gold Medal awards, the Brunner award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Academy Award in Architecture, and the prestigious Jencks and Pritzker architecture prizes. SCI-Arc is ranked second in design and computer applications in the 2012 America's Best Architecture Schools survey from Design Intelligence. SCI-Arc is located at 960 E. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013. www.sciarc.edu
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