Monitoring Air Quality at our Prototype Homes with Berkeley Students


Last week marked an exciting time in the completion of our Prototype Homes as three University of California, Berkeley graduate students visited to begin monitoring air quality temperature, humidity and light in the first of our two Prototype Homes constructed using straw bale methods. The crew from Berkeley included two researchers and a student, Jeff, Miho and Katie, who installed the monitoring equipment. The first round will last two weeks as the group gathers baseline data in the empty home.

While traditional monitoring techniques were utilized, the students took things to another level with their own culturally-inspired monitoring design. In slide 1 you’ll see what looks like an Abalone shell, but that’s no mollusk. With help from a 3D printer, the design was created by Katie and features a mini-solar cell to keep the unit powered and monitoring air quality 24/7. As stated before, the units will measure temperature, humidity and light within the house with the goal of analyzing the efficiency of the design.

The group looks to return in November to look at the data and begin monitoring air quality and more for analysis before tenants are selected. We look forward to examining the results and seeing how the energy-saving methods utilized in construction translate to real-time benefits.

To learn more about the co-design process and the construction of our Prototype Homes, hit this link.