The Solar Decathlon 2011 is an international competition held by the Department of Energy that challenges twenty university teams to design and build the most efficient, affordable, and attractive net-zero solar-powered house. Caltech has been selected as one of the twenty finalists in the 2011 competition and will be building its house on the National Mall in September 2011. The team is working with the Southern California Institute of Architecture to produce an awe-inspiring house and win the competition next year.
ESW projects design, build, and implement solutions to sustainability issues, often with a focus on energy and the environment. Chapters select their own project topics and locations for implementation based on the interests of their members, and the resources and guidance available to them at their respective universities. Some chapters chose to focus primarily on sustainability issues on campus or in their local community, while others work to implement sustainable development solutions for communities in the developing world. Many have project portfolios that include a mix of local and international efforts. Topics vary widely across chapters, but include areas such as clean energy generation and energy savings, water and wastewater treatment/management, and the development of green infrastructure. To carry out these projects, chapters often partner with on-campus staff, community organizations, or other sustainability organizations that have experience and established relationships in the communities where they work.
You can view many of the projects completed or in progress in this directory, and we encourage you to contact the chapter to learn more or help implement a similar project where you are!
Please use the options below to confine your search. To view projects conducted by specific chapters please visit our chapter pages by traveling here. Chapter Leaders can add projects by clicking here.
This is the business plan for Urbanize Pittsburgh, a development corporation that seeks to reduce air pollution from transportation and commuting. We will do this by creating housing opportunities that will attract young professionals and retirees to urban ares and creating interest-based communities that will tie these new urban dwellers to their local neighborhood.
Attached is the third draft of a business plan for Better Bikes. Better Bikes is a service that provides two-stroke engine retrofit kits, training and community outreach, which are cost effective, educational, and environmentally conscious, for automotive technicians and mechanics in developing countries, and thereby improves local sustainability and reduces emissions by building local capacity. Better Bikes is unique in its low cost, locally recognized products, distributed by local technicians.
There are multiple washer and dryer rooms in the tunnels under the dorms that the residence use. All the exhaust systems for the dryers in that room are connected to a main exhaust vent. The vent outlet is visible outside the dorms; there is an exhaust vent going outside for every washer/dryer room. Our team would like to reuse this heat for a purpose inside the dorms instead of it going to waste. This has a significant environmental impact due to the magnitude and usage of these dorm dryers.
The ESW-Pitt sustainable design team will be working with the city of McKeesport during the 2012-2013 school year with the goal of improving one of the city's parks, Renziehausen Park. During the fall, we wrote a proposal to improve the quality of Lake Emilie by re-installing the fountain, removing algae buildup, cleaning up the pavement around the lake, installing an aerator, re-locating the duck populations and renting out the space for special occasions. This spring, we will be writing a proposal to renovate a community center in the park.
`Sustainable fund-raising' is nearly an oxymoron; nearly all fund-raising methods employed by clubs and schools involve the sale of some forgettable product, or require over-packaged foods to be shipped great distances. UB's Chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World has taken a novel approach to fund-rasing with the creation of the `Solar Smoothie Cart', a PV powered food vending cart from which they sell smoothies.
It is a mobile information station that is powered by a 240 watt monocrystalline photovoltaic module (solar panel). The module charges a 24 volt 100 Ah battery bank, which powers a 1500 watt inverter creating usable AC current. The unit has AC outlets to power user devices, a 32 inch LED monitor to display information, a weather proof audio system, and a pair of LED DJ lights.
This project is working in close relationship with University at Buffalo Facilities to install and collect data from high-tech hand dryers in high traffic bathrooms. A life cycle analysis (LCA) will be conducted on these data to determine the carbon footprint tradeoff between Dyson Airblade hand dryers and paper towels.
In 2011 ESW-Pitt members helped with a middle school field trip to a local conservatory. Students learned about the energy efficient aspects of the conservatory's design - it has several LEED-certified sections and a new Living Building, and is a superbly sustainability-conscious place. After their tour, we talked with them about where their energy comes from, and then did an activity with them to demonstrate the [in]efficiency of the electrical system - and eat some M&Ms at the same time.
Each year, UB's engineering clubs build robots to compete in Bot Wars as a part of Engineering Week. ESW's members put their engineering skills to work in order to construct a new bot every year and dominate the competition.