Sustainable UF’s new solar-powered Sustainability Hut shined at its debut on Turlington Plaza on Tuesday.
The original hut, which is used to educate students about sustainability through games and contests, was the same model as GatorWell Health Promotion Services’s, made of PVC pipes and tarp with a green and yellow color scheme.
The new hut is made of reclaimed wood and locally sourced steel.
It features a folding wing design with two, 250-watt donated solar panels, and it’s pulled along by a bike.
The solar panels provide enough energy to power four laptops at once, said Kevin Curry, a 26-year-old UF architecture graduate student and one of the designers of the project.
He said the mobile sustainability unit was a collaboration between UF’s architecture and building construction management departments.
Curry said the departments were approached by Sustainable UF to design the unit, which he called the “most compact way to get out and share their sustainable message.”
The project was funded through a limited budget provided by Sustainable UF, which encouraged the design team to be more innovative with their materials, Curry said.
Jeremy Toms, a 21-year-old environmental engineering senior and Sustainability Hut intern, said the updates to the hut make it easier for volunteers to set up and move around.
However, he said the old hut offered something the new one doesn’t — visibility.
“It just doesn’t shout out at you like the big yellow and green hut,” he said. “We’re working on a way to amend that.”
A version of this story ran on page 3 on 11/20/2013 under the headline "New Sustainability Hut pulled by bike"
Sustainable UF has a new solar-powered hut, used to play games with students and educate them about environmental sustainability. The hut is made of reclaimed wood and locally sourced steel and pulled by a bike.