Revolutionizing Sustainable Construction with Positive Energy and Eco-Friendly Features
Team SHUNYA, a technical student-driven team at IIT Bombay, is making waves in sustainable housing innovation. They are currently participating in the US Solar Decathlon, organized by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
The team was founded in 2012, and since then has participated in multiple Solar Decathlons, including receiving an Honorable Mention in Sustainability for their H-naught (H0) project at the 2014 event in Versailles, France. Their most recent project, Vivaan, has been awarded $50,000 from NREL, and is in the final stages of construction.
Vivaan is a net-positive energy residence, powered by 24 half-cut mono PERC panels that generate 13.5 MWh annually. With inverters, batteries, and grid islanding, the house can function day and night across seasons. The house also exceeds the Indian Green Building Council's standards for net-zero water usage, recycling 82% of the 668 liters of water required daily through graywater recycling, rainwater harvesting, and water-efficient fixtures.
The team has also tackled the carbon emissions caused by the construction industry by using Eco boards, compressed ago waste panels, for the walls. These panels, with glass wool insulation, provide the same strength and thermal comfort as a generic Indian household. To offset the rest of the emissions produced during the life of the house, the team has installed a green wall facade and landscaping around the project.
Innovation is at the forefront of Team SHUNYA's design, with Vivaan fully automated using software and technology developed in-house. The house features state-of-the-art HVAC systems with independent cooling and dehumidification, ensuring the occupants' comfort. The team has also received support from industry giants and affiliated startups, including Eco boards, Eco first, Upcycle Chakra, and Owens Corning, who have provided material acquisition and expertise to the project.
The team has also taken on the responsibility of educating the public about sustainable living through hosting talks, sessions, and tree-planting drives. They believe that without properly conveying technology to the public, it is of no use. The team has made multiple attempts to spread awareness about the need for a sustainable life and to ignite young minds towards it.
Team SHUNYA's vision is to provide a sustainable housing solution built on the tenets of sustainability and harmony with nature. They want to bring about a revolution in the housing industry through their project. The Earth's temperature has risen by 1.5°C, creating an urgent need to adapt to living a sustainable life that takes care of future generations' needs while catering to the present under three domains: social, economic, and environmental.
With these objectives in mind, the team is competing against the top 16 teams participating in the US Solar Decathlon and aiming to finish at the top. They are determined to provide a sustainable housing solution that addresses the needs of the future generation while also catering to the present. Team SHUNYA believes they are the future and aims to inspire others to embrace sustainable living practices.