Farah Ahmad

Farah Ahmad

New York, NY, US


Solar Roofpod

On April 15, 2010, after a six-month selection process, The City College of New York gained entry into one of the most prestigious student competitions in the world -- the Solar Decathlon 2011, organized by the U.S. Department of Energy. We are amongst 20 student teams from the U.S. and several countries around the world. Our mission is to design, build and operate an aesthetic, cost-effective solar-powered house which will be on public display in Washington D.C. in the Fall of 2011.

Team New York is a multicultural and interdisciplinary team from The City College of New York of the City University of New York, with 100 members. Sixty students come from the Barch and MS in Sustainability in Urban Environments, at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture. Thirty students are from the Grove School of Engineering. Approximately 10 faculty members from both schools serve as advisors.

The CCNY prototype, titled “The Solar Roof Pod,” is a zero-energy building that will enhance the urban environment through its green design. The result is a cost-effective and adaptable structure that takes advantage of unused rooftops: New York City, for example, has over 1.6 billion square-feet of rooftop space!

The Solar Roof Pod actively engages with its site. It will utilize lightweight materials that allow the roof to structurally handle the distributed stresses of the building. The Solar Roof Pod also creates a balanced relationship with the city; it takes in energy, and redistributes it to its host building. When the solar panels and flat plate thermal collectors collect an abundance of energy to sustain the structure, excess energy is not sent into the city grid, but to its host. This reduces utility and electricity costs for the tenants.

Moreover, we have carried forth a green environment up onto the urban rooftop setting. The result? A tranquil landscape which subsists within an urban fabric. The green roof also mitigates the heat island effect: a cool roof will lower cooling energy use, reduce carbon emission, and air pollution.

Team New York drew from personal inspirations for our project. The Architecture students at The City College of New York received a new building for their studies in Fall 2009. The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture has a rooftop pavilion space complete with amphitheatre seating and breathtaking views of the encompassing urban fabric. We became encouraged to intervene upon an existing urban rooftop space to create living space. Through our analysis of the rooftop as a social space, we understand the exciting possibilities for making the rooftop an experience.

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Status: Built
Location: CUNY City College of New York
My Role: Public Relations & Communications Manager/ Design Team/ Construction Team
Additional Credits: Team New York of the City College of New York


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