Solar Decathlon Competition 2013 - SCI-Arc/Caltech Team

D.A.L.E. (Dynamic Augmented Living Environment) Project



Mar '13 - May '13

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    Completed CD's

    Nicole Violani
    Mar 15, '13 6:26 PM EST

    We have completed and submitted our Construction Documents!

    Building is the next step on the agenda. Stay tuned!

    DALE video describing the SCI-Arc/Caltech project


    • love it! not just for california, but also for more varied climates. i could see it working well in KY (where i am): closing up for heating season and opening up in our beautiful spring/summer. nice! 

      Mar 16, 13 8:47 am

      Hi, very nice work..

       I would like to ask you in which software did you make those animation diagrams at 1:10

      Best of luck

      Mar 16, 13 8:49 am

      One word. Earthquakes. I hear those are a big deal in California, yes? Then explain this to me, horizontal movement, excellent, vertical movement, not so excellent. Most of the rail systems I'm aware of - those of the indoor filing kind - require amazing stable slabs to allow for that kind of movement. Now with the rail systems that locomotives use, I am sure there is significant infrastructure to accommodate unstable movement, and if not, then rails are being replaced. For a multi-billion dollar industry I am sure that is not a problem, and of course they do it all the time, but how often would a home owner need to hire crane company to lift their pod, replace rails, and then reset their pod - all three no less?

      Mar 16, 13 5:11 pm

      Thanks for the positive feedback! The original concept is geared towards the California outdoor lifestyle but it can certainly be applicable to many other areas in the country or in the world. Ideally this would serve as a prototype that could be placed in comfortable weather and environment. 

      We used 3D Studio Max for the animation. 

      In regards to earthquakes and functionality of the house - we've been working closely with engineers at Buro Happold who have assisted us in designing a structure system that not only accounts for lateral but also vertical movement. We are using a similar system to railroad hardware and clips by Gantrex that prevent the house from shifting when it shouldn't. Ideally this would serve as a prototype and therefore we must get the set permitted and follow city codes similar to any other construction. 

      Apr 12, 13 7:47 pm

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About this Blog

The Solar Decathlon Competition is a biennial competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Solar Energy where 20 schools from around the world compete in designing and building a net zero prototype home. The SCI-Arc/Caltech team proposes D.A.L.E. (Dynamic Augmented Living Environment), a 600sf micro-home that literally moves on rails, expanding to create a mid-yard and multiplying the inhabitable space. For more information on DALE, please view:

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