City College of New York: Solar Roofpod & Harlem Garden for Urban Food
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
CCNY Students, supervised by Christian Volkmann, 2011-2014

Visit the rooftop of the Spitzer School of Architecture (Rafael Viñoly Architects) to see its Solar Roofpod and urban farm. This student-designed 800 s.f. micro-dwelling is surrounded by a garden and apiary that provide Harlem residents and students with experience raising agricultural crops and keeping bees. The Solar Roofpod is a plus-net-energy dwelling designed to provide local green energy for urban buildings. The prototype was designed and built by students under the supervision of Prof. Christian Volkmann at City College for the Department of Energy's 2011 Solar Decathlon. It returned to CCNY in 2014 to serve as a living classroom and a hub for sustainable design. With its 10 kWp of electricity and 12 kWp of additional thermal energy production, the Roofpod provides surplus to its host building and can serve as a resilient back-up system in case of grid outages. The modular building allows elements to be freely combined. The building envelope, the surrounding green roof system, and the "solar trellis" comprise the structure.

The adjoining Harlem Rooftop Garden provides the vital link among STEM studies, our local food system, and health. The Spitzer School together with the on-campus High School for Math, Science and Engineering created this urban farm and offer joint interdisciplinary programs for high school and college students. The farm contains plants in containers with an irrigation system built on steel beams as well as two bee hives.


Image Credit: Amanda Alston