geof bell

baarch, LEED GA

Critic and Project Leader (Architecture): Greg Luhan

The University of Kentucky's submission to the 2009 Solar Decathlon was titled "s•ky Blue," making a connection between the iconic Kentucky Blue and our sustainable vision for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Our entry was designed to exceed the USGBCs LEED for Homes Platinum standards, incorporating native, drought resistant vegetation, rainwater harvesting, pulse-irrigation, efficient fixtures and appliances, solar-thermal hot water heating, geothermal cooling, and a highly efficient thermal envelope (R-40 walls and R-60 ceiling/floor). The house achieved net-positive energy use during the competition.

My research focused specifically on the structural design, thermal efficiency, performance modeling, and material surface effects of the building envelope. Additionally, I served as a team leader in charge of specifications for the design development phase of the project. Working with actual products and materials to develop a built project, I gained a deeper understanding of design and construction methods, and an intimate knowledge of alternative energy and sustainable design solutions. Our multi-disciplinary approach gave me the opportunity to work alongside students and professionals with backgrounds in architecture, engineering, and marketing.

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