What does your garage do for you?
Chances are, it’s a good storage place, workplace, and a spot to park your car. Sure, you possibly get a new garage door replacement now and then or let your children hang out there, but what if your garage could charge your car without increasing your electric bill and simultaneously grow plants?
Well, interestingly enough, that’s exactly what a group of students at the Green Mountain College in Vermont, strive to find out. With the idea in mind to make a garage more useful and more helpful in a self-sustaining household, they set to work building a garage that does more for you than just a place for storage… garage of the future!
The garage, while still in development, is designed to harvest solar energy and use it to charge electric vehicles. It has 16 solar panels at 3.86 kilowatts each positioned on a sloping roof to maximize the energy collection. In addition to the energy production, the garage includes a greenhouse which grows plants effectively enough to look promising for some self-sustaining food production. The passive design combined with the solar panels makes it a successful green building project.
Why a Garage?
Most garages aren’t used for more than just additional space. The objective of the students is to take a part of a home that serves a decent purpose and turn it into one that does so much more. The want to demonstrate that using solar energy this way can be less expensive over-all and create a reusable resource attached to any house. If you’re thinking about going green, why not start with your garage?
By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door