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Sun Bandit RISES to the Occasion at International Solar Decathlon

Sun Bandit RISEAfter a stellar debut at the International Solar Decathlon in Denver this month, interest in the off-grid solar water heating, air conditioning and secure power supply solutions of Next Generation Energy’s Sun Bandit is on the RISE. 

RISE is Residential, Inviting, Stackable and Efficient. It’s the net zero energy brainchild of a team of enterprising students from California’s UC Berkeley and Colorado’s University of Denver, one of eleven teams from around the world with designs on creating the next great smart energy home solution in green building and sustainable living.

“The Solar Decathlon is a multi-faceted competition in which we think about all aspects of the house -- from energy balance to market appeal to architecture and engineering -- while also addressing a pressing societal challenge,” said RISE student project manager Sam Durkin of UC Berkeley.

RISE features a flowing sine-wave façade and movable walls that quickly transform sleeping areas into comfortable living spaces. Its stacked design and large, open roof-deck spaces allow for greater density but with the open feel of a neighborhood home, all while accommodating efficient, healthier, net zero energy and water consumption. “RISE,” says Durkin, “is where artistry meets science.”

Designed with low-income families in mind, RISE employs modular construction for multi-family structures that can accommodate one, three or five unit structures on a given lot – something that translates well into urban centers facing affordable housing shortages. 

Team RISE selected Sun Bandit’s all-electric solar water heating and storage system for the project due to its documented performance metrics (it scored a perfect 10 in the TVA’s eScore program). The efficiencies driven by its highly-insulated tank were another factor, as it accommodates water storage at high temperatures. “It’s very efficient,” Durkin said.

RISE earned the top score among Decathlon competitors in two categories in which American-made Sun Bandit shines: the team won first place in the appliances division and was tied for first in the water heating category, where it shared the top spot with the solutions of two formidable European teams. 

In the grand scheme of the competition, RISE rose to the green building occasion with the third highest overall Solar Decathlon score. And they did so despite freezing temperatures and a first-ever snowfall that blanketed the Decathlon’s Solar Village. 

Sun Bandit, too, has logged its share of industry firsts. And unlike traditional solar thermal, PV-based Sun Bandit is immune to freezing, consistently heating water to temperatures of up to 160-degrees whether in the mile-high city, the backwoods of Boise or weathering sub-zero temperatures North of the Arctic Circle

“This is Sun Bandit's first investment in the Decathlon, and we couldn’t be more supportive of the innovative vision of these next generation thinkers,” said Sun Bandit parent Next Generation Energy’s COO, Lori Beedon.


Team RISE’s tenacity, out-of-the-box thinking and desire to create healthy, quality, energy- and water-efficient homes for people no matter their socioeconomic status aligns with our mission to make solar more accessible to everyone,” Beedon added.  “Kudos to Team RISE for their accomplishments – and to all the solar savvy students who made the cut to compete at this year’s International Solar Decathlon. This is meaningful work!” 


Next Stop, Greenbuild 2017 in Boston

The Next Generation Energy team continues Sun Bandit’s coast-to-coast tour November 8 – 10 at the Greenbuild International Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. Co-located with the architecturally-inclined ABX expo, Greenbuild is the world’s largest green building conference and expo, touting over 600 exhibitors and service providers driving innovation, cost savings and better, smarter building efficiencies around the globe.

Sun Bandit Greenbuild

Greenbuild International Conference and Expo 

November 8-10, 2017

Boston, MA

Visit Sun Bandit by Next Generation Energy at Booth 2813

Register for Your FREE Expo Pass

Click or call 877-NGE-4SUN (877-643-4786) to schedule an on-site appointment, discuss your project needs, or to simply learn more about transforming your home or business with Sun Bandit by Next Generation Energy.

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