City College Students To Enter Solar-Powered "Pod" In International Contest
A group of City College architecture students is about to take an innovative solar-powered “pod” apartment to a major international competition. NY1’s Lindsey Christ filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Studying architecture in college doesn't usually involve climbing ladders, connecting wires or installing solar panels, but that's what a group of City College students is doing.
“It's been really exciting, definitely learning a lot about construction which is definitely not part of the curriculum,” said Michael Cheng, student.
The students are building a portable apartment or “pod” that they say can be easily added to city rooftops. It generates solar energy that will not only fuel the pod but can help power the rest of the building.
Their idea is now a finalist in a major international competition.
Next month, the students, who are collectively known as Team New York, will transport their construction to Washington, DC. They will then reassemble it on the National Mall alongside 18 other finalists from around the world.
They'll be there for three weeks, and hundreds of thousands are expected to tour their pod.
Still, Christian Volkmann, their professor, said that they’ll learn the most during the construction phase.
“They are very, very knowledgeable related to all installations and especially the interdisciplinary aspect of this project, which is that you have to integrate electrical systems, plumbing systems, mechanical systems into something that looks nice afterwards,” said Volkmann.
“To draw something you actually get to do in real life, and then actually seeing pieces that you order and you specify in a drawing and actually putting it together and you’re putting your hands on it, and it’s like everybody has, like, a baby in here. Everybody is like, 'oh, that’s my baby, don't touch it,'" said Yelisa Grullon, student.
They've faced some special challenges building in New York.
“We had more difficult code conditions, building code conditions than other teams,” said Volkmann.
The biannual competition started in 2002, but they say this is the first entry ever designed for urban environments.
After two years of work and three months of construction, the students, professors and some local sponsors volunteering alongside them have just four weeks to complete the model and get it to Washington.
It's going to be tight, but they say they'll make it.