Sunshower SSIP House

The Sunshower SSIP House is a prototype of the winning design in the OceanSafe design competition. Designed by Tulane University Architecture professors Judith Kinnard and Tiffany Lin, the innovative structure uses OceanSafe steel-structural-insulated-panels (SSIP) to create a durable 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with many sustainable features. Woodward Design+Build donated its services as a general contractor on the prototype house, in addition to providing estimating services and materials consultation.

Constructed with steel-structural-insulated-panels, the Sunshower House provides durable protection against tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricane winds of up to 156 mph. Although elements of the home’s interior would need replacement in the event of a disaster, the waterproof foam and steel panels would render the exterior shell undamaged and intact. Solar panels line the roof to sustain household energy needs while an inverted roof design captures rainwater and stores it in a rain pillow underneath the house. A thermal mass wall that separates the home’s kitchen from the living room is built to regulate the internal temperature of the house, further contributing to its energy efficiency.

Built in an area devastated by flooding after Hurricane Katrina, the Sunshower SSIP House suggests new solutions for meeting housing needs in the wake of a natural disaster. The entire home can be delivered as a kit, small enough to fit in one cargo container, and assembled with minimal tools. Mass-produced as a kit, the Sunshower House could provide sustainable, permanent housing in areas prone to disaster. Kits could be stockpiled in preparation for distribution by governments and emergency management authorities.

Delegations from around the world including Haiti, Iraq, Romania, Japan and the Dominican Republic have expressed interest in using the Sunshower House to meet housing needs in their respective countries. With its marriage of green building and practicality, mass production of the Sunshower House could usher in a revolutionary way of addressing emergency housing and disaster.

Project Information

  • Category
    Special Construction Projects
  • Owner
    OceanSafe
  • Design
    Judith Kinnard and Tiffany Lin
  • Size
    1,100 Square Feet
  • Location
    New Orleans, LA
  • Completion
    March 2012

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