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Smart Spaces Contributes to the 2017 International Solar Decathlon

The mandate of the recent international Solar Decathlon held in Denver was to focus on homes designed to be “affordable, innovative and highly energy efficient.” One of the ways that the student-led partnership between the University of Denver and UC-Berkeley showed their creativity was by using Murphy Wall Beds supplied by Denver’s own Smart Spaces.

The team designed RISE for Richmond’s urban infill lots. RISE stands for Residential, Inviting, Stackable, Efficient, and can be used to describe the UC Berkeley/U of Denver’s design philosophy. Ready to scale to Richmond’s rapid, residential urbanization, this house design is community and transit oriented, focused on long-lasting, simple, and affordable infrastructure for the future. The simple but inviting structure includes large glass windows and doors on the south side, and the stepped-back structure and large stairwells promote community interaction. RISE is designed to be scalable and stackable, kind of like children’s blocks. The modular construction means that one, three, or five units can be built on a site, depending on the desired density. In addition, the post and beam structure directs loads through vertical elements, making the stacking process simple and flexible. Finally, RISE is efficient, designed to achieve net-zero energy consumption, to recover and reuse heat that is typically wasted in most houses, and to recycle greywater. The team also designed the house to be constructed efficiently, without specialized labor, so that local workers in Richmond can easily build the units.

Located at 1295 S. Santa Fe Drive in Denver, Smart Spaces has designed and manufactured Murphy Beds, home offices and custom closets since 2004. Their 7500 square foot facility includes a two-story showroom with over 30 floor models on display.

In addition to donating the Murphy Beds and cabinetry, Smart Spaces also gave some hands-on instruction on woodworking to the students, adding another skill to the ones learned by them throughout their 2-year-long project.

Part of the DU-CU-Berkeley bedroom design included moving walls on tracks so that during the day, not only did the vertical beds close up against the wall, but the actual walls moved in towards the bed, allowing over 350 more cubic feet for the communal living area.
DU-UC-Berkeley ended up third out of thirteen in the competition, narrowly beaten out of second place by the University of Maryland.  Their house is going to Denver Habitat for Humanity, which plans to install the project on a temporary lot while they prepare a permanent lot for the house. After installation on its permanent lot, the home will be sold to a family in need.

> Read more about this event: https://www.solardecathlon.gov/2017/competition-team-uc-berkeley_u-denver.html
> Visit the International Solar Decathlon Team Website: https://solardecathlon.berkeley.edu/
> Check out Smart Spaces Economical Murphy Bed Design Gallery: https://smartspaces.com/projects/simple-murphy-bed-design-styles/