First Steps to going off the grid
One of the architecture studio buildings on the SFC Campus was recently modified by the addition of four groups of photo-voltaic panels to the roof.
Like much of Japan the SFC campus was strongly affected by the rolling blackouts that went into effect after the series of disasters struck the country on March 11 this year. In response the campus has begun plans to make the university less energy dependent in the face of this kind of challenge.
By chance we had installed the PV system a month before the earthquake as part of a research project that has since taken on much more weight. Learning to create cities and buildings that are resilient and capable of adapting to unforeseen conditions like those faced in the first month after the earthquake is a goal that has taken on some urgency for the university and also for Japan.
The building itself was designed in 2001 by SFC professor and architect Yasushi Ikeda as an experiment in creating a sustainable building typology. It is one of four similar buildings that contain architecture, planning and other research labs. The amount of energy produced by the photovoltaic cells will be monitored in the upcoming months and will contribute to reducing the university's energy demand.
Panels Installed on the roof
Atelier Interior - the building makes use of natural light and ventilation and is built for ease of disassembly as well as comfort.