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CARES4Pomo

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Introduction[edit]

CARES is partnering with the Pinoleville Pomo Nation, a Native American tribe located in Ukiah, CA, to design eco-friendly houses that utilize sustainability best practices, renewable energy technology, and reflect the long-standing culture of the Pinoleville Pomo Nation.

Project Description[edit]

The Pinoleville Pomo Nation (PPN) today is facing several critical challenges associated with the development of housing infrastructure throughout their communities. In order to meet the growing demand of people seeking to return to the lands of the PPN, more housing developments are being undertaken. At the same time, rising energy costs associated with heating and cooling current houses is placing an increased burden on residents. Furthermore, the drought conditions within and around the PPN are also taxing the resources of the residents and the local government. As a result, the PPN is seeking to implement sustainable technology and best practices that will increase their self sufficiency and meet their housing, energy, and water conservation needs.

In order to address the aforementioned concerns, CARES has created a specialized team called CARES4Pomo to work with members of the PPN to evaluate sustainable technology and best practices such as solar photovoltaic systems, wind turbine systems, passive and active solar water heaters, grey water systems, and passive building design strategies such as passive solar gain and sun shading.

On April 13, 2008, residents of the PPN in northern California and members of the CARES4Pomo team participated in an innovation workshop to understand the sustainability, environmental, and cultural needs of the PPN community and to provide recommendations for housing designs for the community. The underlining principal of the innovation workshop is that the residents of the PPN community are the most knowledgeable about their needs and therefore should be active participants in the design process of their housing.

As a result of the innovation workshop, members of the CARES4Pomo team were able to create a roundhouse-style design that the PPN plans to submit when it applies for federal funding to build 25 new homes in Ukiah. The house design features a rounded structure containing a large communal kitchen and living room to accommodate extended families and tribal gatherings. The design also takes into account cultural and traditional respect for the four directions of North, South, West, and East in addition to Father Earth (down) and Mother Sky (up) for a total of six. This fact was incorporated into the design with five attachments and one main central unit, making six in total. Also, the design's roof is dome shaped but flattens out at the top in order to create space for living roofs which can be used to for plants considered important by the PPN.


Future Work[edit]

The CARES4Pomo team is evaluating various solar hot water heater and grey water systems technologies to retrofit homes in Pinoleville Heights Subdivision located in Lakeport, CA. The team is also further refining the initial roundhouse-style house and will be determining how to incorporate as solar photovoltaic and solar hot water heater systems into the roundhouse-style house design.

Team Information[edit]

  • Yael Perez, Co Team Lead, Architecture Graduate Student Researcher
  • Tobias Schultz, Co Team Lead, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Researcher
  • Francesca Francia, Environmental Design Graduate Student Researcher
  • Cynthia Bayley, Civil Engineering Undergraduate Student Researcher
  • Che (Tommy) Liu, Civil Engineering Undergraduate Student Researcher
  • Yao Yuan, Bioengineering Undergraduate Student Researcher
  • Aaron Chang, Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Student Researcher