The TriPOD House

One of the more difficult challenges we have come across, aside from learning about the variety of technology we incorporated into our house, is how to teach others how these systems work as well. In order to achieve this, we began with a basic understanding of all of our mechanical systems as having three parts:

  • (1) Source; i.e. Photovoltaic panel,
  • (2) Distribution; i.e. wiring,
  • (3) End Unit; i.e. television.

Throughout our house you can see parts and pieces of these three elements as they relate to the various systems. A skylight above the shower literally shows you the Solar Thermal Collectors that are producing the hot water you would be using. Tile from the raised floor can be easily lifted to reveal color-coded hot and cold water pipes as well as wiring for electricity. From the exterior, there is access to the battery bank as well as a view of the condensing unit for air conditioning.

Another goal we have set is to promote sustainability through generating greater awareness of hidden aspects living. To accomplish this we reveal the 'invisible' components behind living! During and after the competition we will collect detailed measurements of all the resource consumption of the house and monitor the living environment. The Data Acquisition team developed a house metering system and a rooftop weather station and collaborated with Bosch on a Plug n’ Play metering system with interchangeable sensor parts embedded in them. In the end, we also designed a friendly visual display, to inform homeowners of their living patterns. The real-time display is mounted on an flexible support, can be seen from the main Core, the Live/Work Pod and the Kitchen Pod, wherever your heart desires.

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