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CCNY to Install Solar Roofpod Atop Spitzer School of Architecture

A 2011 reception for the Solar Roofpod on the City College campus prior to it going on display at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Washington. The college plans to bring the Solar Roofpod back to campus to become a multi-purpose facility dedicated to sustainability on the roof of the Spitzer School of Architecture building.

College’s entry in 2011 Solar Decathlon to become multi-purpose facility dedicated to sustainability

A campaign is underway to install the Solar Roofpod atop the Spitzer School of Architecture building, where it will serve as a multi-purpose facility dedicated to sustainability. The installation is expected to begin in early 2014. The solar-powered house was The City College of New York entry in the U.S. Department of Energy 2011 Solar Decathlon.

“Placing the Solar Roofpod atop the Spitzer School of Architecture would allow it to function as originally intended, on top of a roof, tied into a host building and providing both with fossil fuel-free energy,” said Professor of Architecture Christian Volkmann, who served as the building’s project manager. “In addition, it would be a unique resource that would become part of everyday campus life.”

The Solar Roofpod is an 800-square-foot, one-story, modular structure that was designed to take advantage of the underutilized rooftops of buildings in high-density urban areas such as New York and built from sustainable materials. As conceived, it uses solar energy to support its own utility needs – heat, cooling and electricity – and yields surplus power that could be harvested onto the grid.

When the house is fully functioning students would be able to observe an electric meter running backwards, Professor Volkmann pointed out.

Once installed atop the Spitzer School building, the structure will be used as a classroom, exhibit space for sustainable materials and systems and a living learning lab. Plans also call for using it to host lunchtime lectures by sustainability and design/construction professionals and New York City policymakers.

As part of the effort to raise funds for the project, the City College architecture alumni have launched a crowdsourcing site, Bring Back The Roofpod To CCNY! Funds will be used for construction and transportation of the Solar Roofpod modules from a storage site in New Jersey to the City College campus.

Persons interested in supporting the campaign can also contact Leslie Timothy, director of major gifts, City College Office of Development and Institutional Advancement, 212-650-8115,

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About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; the School of Education; the Grove School of Engineering; the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.  

Set on a striking, 35-acre hilltop campus in upper Manhattan, CCNY has produced more Nobel laureates than any other public institution in the United States. The College has been touted as one of America's Top Colleges by Forbes, one of the Best Colleges in the United States as well as one of the Best Value Colleges by the Princeton Review, and ranks among U.S. News’ top regional universities.



Ellis Simon
p: 212.650.6460