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For the Comfort Zone competition, LEAFHouse must maintain its temperature and humidity within specified ranges. Temperature and humidity control are equally weighted, at 50 points each.
As residents of the Washington, D.C., region, the LEAFHouse team is intimately familiar with humidity. Our Liquid Desiccant Wall is an innovative approach to domestic humidity control. It represents an improvement over conventional air conditioning, saving energy by separating the air-drying function from the air-cooling function.
October weather in Washington, D.C., can be quite variable. LEAFHouse will likely need both heating and cooling at different times throughout Contest Week. The radiant floor heating system uses water heated by LEAFHouse's highly efficient evacuated-tube system. A ductless mini-split air conditioning system will cool the house when natural ventilation is insufficient.
The LEAFHouse team plans to maintain the Comfort Zone by responding to current conditions and anticipating future ones. The Smart House/Adaptive Controls (SHAC) system monitors house temperature and humidity and predicts the future effects of environmental changes or additions of heat and moisture due to contest activities. Settings and controls will be adjusted to keep temperature and humidity in range, rather than simply reacting when they threaten to slip out of range.