GREEN KIT: A Modular, Variable Application System for Sustainable Cooling

EPA Grant Number: SU833187
Title: GREEN KIT: A Modular, Variable Application System for Sustainable Cooling
Investigators: La Roche, Pablo , Fox, Michael , Nelson, Phyllis
Current Investigators: La Roche, Pablo , Abolian, Sarmen , Aparicio, German , Baker, Daniel , Brennan, Spencer , Ceja, Salvador , Drum, Houston , Ezell, Erin , Felton, Lesley , Fox, Michael , Gardabad, Armen , Hansanuwat, Ryan , Henry, Brandon , Lee, Sean , Lyles, Mark , Manasians, Tetigh , Martinez, Brenda , Millett, Ben , Montoya, Santiago , Mora, Jazmin , Nelson, Phyllis , Nieto, Stephen , Oba, Naoko , Oo, Yamin , Reames, Lucas , Resurreccion, John , Sheridan, Nick , Whitsett, Kristian
Institution: California State Polytechnic University - Pomona
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 30, 2006 through May 30, 2007
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Definition of technical challenge to sustainability One of the challenges to sustainability is to build shelters that provide human comfort (people) using limited resources (prosperity) and minimum environment impact (planet). Current practices in building design and construction have not provided a satisfactory balance among the three “P”s. Our proposal addresses this challenge with the Green Kit, a combination of a modular green surface and passive cooling by ventilation with computer control to optimize their performance. Both green surfaces and passive ventilation are, on their own, proven sustainable strategies. Our proposal is innovative because it is an alternative to simply “improving” conventional cooling systems; it moves to develop a new type of system. The proposed project leverages these simple technologies by combining a vegetated component with a passive cooling system, optimizing the performance of proven passive, low-tech (appropriate) principles of ventilation. We will develop a technology that combines distributed sensing, physical transformations, and computer control algorithms, enabling dynamic management of ventilation in response to changing environmental conditions in real-time. The addition of a microcontroller and distributed temperature sensing, together with optimized control algorithms, will create a product that is greater than the sum of its parts and that could be adapted to a broad audience of users. The GREEN KIT would benefit the individual homeowner by achieving thermal comfort at lower cost than a traditional heating and air conditioning system, local economies by reducing the competition for non-renewable fuels, and the entire planet through the reduction of global pollution. The project will be developed in a joint effort of architecture and engineering students through design studios and advanced electives. The designs will be evaluated in working scale models and compared with conventional mechanical cooling systems using several variables that include cost, energy consumption and comfort capacity. Thermal performance in full scale house will also be evaluated. A strategy for implementation in developing countries that involves working with the local community and using local labor, resources and materials will be developed. Our proposed plans maximize the educational benefits of the competition by increasing the student’s awareness of the impacts of the built environment on the natural environment and providing interdisciplinary experience.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 1 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

green building design, passive cooling, building comfort, kinetic architecture, smart controllers, green roof, affordable housing, developing countries, passive solar, architecture, life-cycle analysis, sustainable development, innovative technology, renewable, community-based, public good, building performance, orientation, thermal mass, ecological footprint, local materials, international cooperation, building technology, sustainable environment, alternative building technology, alternative materials, ecological design, energy conservation, environmentally conscious design,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Sustainable Environment, Energy, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, Atmosphere, clean energy, energy conservation, environmental technology, environmental monitoring, green design, sustainable development, clean manufacturing, consumer refrigeration systems, energy efficiency, engineering, alternative refrigerants, passive cooling

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report