As part of the Sustainability Task Force at Maryland and in relation to my sustainable placemaking project, Isaac Zhodzishsky and I are looking at designing "Terrapods." These Terrapods would be stationed around campus and would constitute a modular configuration of benches and tables equipped with power and WiFi access from a sun shaded canopy with mounted solar panels.
Isaac and I sat down and discussed what we would want as students if we were at a table outside between classes. With my Sustainable placemaking project, I am trying to create infrastructure that supports the needs of students while emphasizing sustainable concepts. Each of these stations could have an educational information panel describing the system set in place.
Here we have the standard version of our design. It combines two benches, a table, an equipment box, and a solar canopy where PV panels can be mounted. We modified the Arckit scale to a 1:25 for the purpose of this prototype. The bench is 2X2X6 Feet. The Table is 4X4X8 Feet. This would be a medium sized variation that would be modular and able to be extended and modified. We expect this table to have 4 outlets with the battery, inverter, utility and performance meters in the maintenance box.
Issac designed a smaller variation that could be deployed at bus stops or in tight environments. This version includes a small stand up table covered by a solar canopy. We did not design the maintenance box because we thought it either could be mounted under the table or in an underground compartment.
Our third design features a larger pavilion type structure that would be able to accomodate up to 10 people. The U-shaped program would allow diversity in the seating arrangement. The maintenance box holding all of the equipment could be placed at the bottom of a column. With a larger structure like this, a foundation would need to be placed.
We are going to be making more models and bringing them outside to see how each of our solar canopies would shade the people occupying the space.
Isaac Zhodzishsky is a Geographical Information Systems major at the University of Maryland. With focuses in Sustainability and Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences he is a member of the Sustainability Task Force at Maryland looking at providing clean energy infrastructure to our communities
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