Team Members

Kimberly, an architect from Parsons School of Design, looks up as she makes a silly face

Kimberly Tate

School & Area of Study Parsons School of Design SCE || M.Architecture

Contribution to the Project materials research, the occasional blog post, summer design development and muscles on the construction site 😉

Interesting Fact I’m fluent in Italian…

Justin, an engineer from the Stevens Institute of Technology, wears a silly smile as his bright red hair flops around in the wind

Justin Richman

School & Area of Study Stevens Institute of Technology || Mechanical Engineer

Contribution to the Project PV & Systems Design …

Erich wears a blue collared shirt and a stern look on his face

Erich Rau

School & Area of Study Stevens Institute of Technology || Mechanical Engineering

Contribution to the Project Lead Mechanical Engineer …

Devang wears a contemplative look on his face

Devang Shah

School & Area of Study Parsons School of Design || Masters of Architecture …

Chris Steffens wears a bright smile

Chris Steffens

School & Area of Study Parsons School of Design || Masters of Lighting Design

Contribution to the Project Everywhere …

Vasilis, from the Parsons School of Design, wears a green shirt, his long wavy hair bellowing in the gentle breeze, his skin kissed by the glorious rays of the sun.

Vasilis Kyriacou

School & Area of Study Parsons School of Design || Design & Technology

Involvement in the Project Has been in the project since day one

Contribution to the Project Anywhere and everywhere the project needed him. From communication design to public outreach, from controls systems design to architectural input. I’ll. Do. Anything.

Interesting Fact A Greek from the magnificent Island of Cyprus

Loves Most About the Sun I am a Solar Panel. …

Aakriti, a product designer from the Parsons School of Design, wears a grey shirt and a delicate black necklace as she smiles for the camera

Aakriti Kumar

School & Area of Study Parsons School of Design || Product Design

Contribution to the Project Living Room Furniture Design …

Amanda, from the Parsons School of Design, wears a chipper smile and a black tank top as she looks at the camera wearing spectacular spectacles

Amanda Waal

School & Area of Study Parsons School of Design || Masters of Architecture

Contribution to the Project Lead Student Contact …

Jason, from the Parsons School of Design, squints as his enormous smile and pink splattered shirt glisten in the sun

Jason Hudspeth

School & Area of Study Parsons School of Design || Masters of Architecture

Contribution to the Project Project Architect

Interesting Fact Raised on a farm in Missouri

Even More Interesting Is Amazing …

Sir Nicholas wears a red plaid collared shirt, looks away from the red camera with a serious look on his face as his hair blows gently in the wind

Sir Nicholas Mundell

School & Area of Study Stevens Institute of Technology || Master of Product Architecture Engineering

Interesting Fact Reigns from New Zealand …

Obi wears a bright smile

Obinna Elechi

School & Area of Study Parsons School of Design || Masters of Architecture …

Sienna, from the Parsons School of Design, wears a bright smile and a blue shirt

Sienna Shaw

School & Area of Study Parsons School of Design || Masters of Architecture …

William wears a red shirt and a curious smile

William Chen

School & Area of Study Parsons School for Design || Product Design…

Steve's hair blows in the wind like his magnificent smile

Steve Chick

School & Area of Study Stevens Institute of Technology || Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student

Involvement in the Project Mechanical Design and Calculations, Duct work, General Construction

Something Interesting Has a passion for endurance sports

Loves Most About the Sun A hot summer day beats any snow day!…

Joshua, an engineer from Stevens, wears a green polo shirt and a stern look on his face

Joshua Laryea

School & Area of Study Stevens Institute of Technology

Contribution to the Project Designing of All the Water Systems …

An Image of the Empowerhouse Icon

Chelsea Crisafulli

School & Area of Study Parsons The New School for Design || Master of Architecture

Involvement in the Project 2nd year M.Arch Studio || Designer/Builder

Something Worth Sharing Interests within the field of Architecture center around the intersection of architecture and social justice …

Orlando, a lead faculty on the project, wears a blue shirt and a yellow necklace as he gently smiles at the camera

Orlando Velez

School & Area of Study Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy Analysis / Urban Policy Analysis

Involvement in the Project Director of Operations for Empowerhouse Project

Contribution to the Project My life

Interesting Fact I learned english watching Sesame Street when I was 5

Something Worth Sharing I met my wife while serving in the Peace Corps in Paraguay

Loves Most About the Sun It will last us another 5 billion years, oil will not. …

Felicia, from the Parsons School of Design, wears a serious look on her face as she gazes in to the camera

Felicia Nitu

School & Area of Study Parsons The New School – MArch

Involvement in the Project I’ve been involved in the project since its early stage and I had the opportunity to experience together with my team all the ups and downs, all the struggles and successes.

Contribution to the Project My focus was in designing the apertures of the envelop and shading devises so that the heat gain-loss balance would foster a great living experience in the house.

Interesting Fact I grew a lot in this project and the knowledge I gain is priceless

Something Worth Sharing Learning to be resilient is the key for a joyful experience while working in a large group of people

What You Love Most About the Sun Puts a genuine smile on my face …

Eric wears a smile after a hard days work, stains on his shirt indicating how hard he actually works to build Empowerhouse

Eric Feuster

School & Area of Study Parsons School of Design: Master of Architecture Student

Involvement in the Project Fall 2010 – now

Contribution to the Project Interior rendering + interior finishing (drywall, hardwood floor, bathroom)

Interesting Fact (About Yourself) I’m a fraternal twin 🙂

Something Worth Sharing (About Yourself) :: U-10 Boys soccer coach. Final record 0 wins-1 draw -10 losses!

Lisa wears a yellow sweater and a spectacular smile as she leans towards the camera

Lisa Maione

School & Area of Study Parsons The New School for Design

Involvement in the Project Communications faculty

Contribution to the Project Contributing to project by way of design and support to all communications and public relations efforts.

Interesting Fact As a graphic designer, I seek to bring clarity and beauty to complex data and information. The Empowerhouse project brings this need to the forefront as our team brings our insights to Habitat DC and Deanwood.

Loves Most About the Sun The morning sunrise in July. Best light of the year. …

Vanessa wears a white shirt and a gorgeous smile

Vanessa Estrada

School & Area of Study Parsons- Architecture

Involvement in the Project Two full years of involvement!

Contribution to the Project Sponsorship-Drawing-Windows-Doors

Interesting Fact from Puerto Rico!

Something Worth Sharing I am a happy person!

What You Love Most About the Sun The best natural resource to combat depression!hahahaha I just love the way it gives warmth and tans! …

Clare Seekins

School & Area of Study Milano, MA in International Affairs

Involvement in the Project Milano Financial Analysis Team

Contribution to the Project Net Present Value Analysis

Interesting Fact (About Yourself) I’ve spooned a tiger.

Something Worth Sharing (About Yourself) I’m a nomad.

What You Love Most About the Sun The Vitamin D. …

Whitney Hopkins

School & Area of Study Parsons, Masters of Architecture

Involvement in Project Spring 2011 Studio, summer build, competition :: Floorplan, interiors

Interesting Fact Australian-American

Even More Interesting I competed in the 2005 DOE solar car race; I work in biomimicry and as a part of the FemmeDen, a group that looks at design and gender

Loves Most About the Sun I come from a sunny place, so I love everything about it. I like the colors of the light through the day. …

Carly Berger

School & Area of Study Parsons – Master of Architecture 2011

Involvement in Project Architecture Design Team and Public Relations

Interesting Fact Carly secretly wishes she were shy

Even More Interesting Carly sings while she drills.

Loves Most About the Sun She loves that the sun changes color and that it gives definition to a space. …

An Image of the Empowerhouse Icon

Heeryung Oh

* Name :: Heeryung Oh
* School & Area of Study :: Parsons the New School for Design || AAS. Graphic Design
* Involvement in the Project :: Communication Design. (Exhibit design on the Mall)
* More info :: www.heeryungoh.com…

An Image of the Empowerhouse Icon

Shannon Vermeulen

* Name :: Shannon Vermeulen
* School & Area of Study :: 3rd Year Masters of Architecture, Parsons
Graduated with a degree in Architecture from Clemson University
* Involvement in the Project :: Designer and builder for Empowerhouse. Concentrating on foundations, decks and ramps, floor and ceiling framing, cellulose insulation, and construction documents
* Interesting Fact :: Discovered cellulose works as an excellent coagulant for any injuries sustained on the job site.…

Steven Scribner, a graduate from the architecture program at the Parsons School of Design, wears a red plaid collared shirt and a very bright smile as he squints at the camera

Steven Scribner

School & Area of Study: Graduated in May from the Parsons Master of Architecture program.

Involvement in the Project: He is the student project manager for the Empowerhouse team, and has been involved since the spring of 2010.  Through the many phases of design and construction, he’s especially enjoyed working across disciplines with engineers on the building envelope and systems.

Interesting Fact: He is thoroughly enjoying the sunny summer of physical labor on the shores of the Hudson River after three years of school.…

Christine Paxson, an architecture student from the Parsons School of Design, wears glasses and a pensive look as she looks at the camera, her short black hair falling over the side of her face

Christine Paxson

School & Area of Study Parsons || BFA in Architecture 2012

Involvement in the Project Sponsorship, Communications

Contribution to the Project Keeping sponsorship forms organized, outreach, keeping sponsors informed about the project, making sure all their information is up to date and clear

Loves Most About the Sun Nuclear fusion

 …

Jen Terry, a student from the Milano School of Urban Policy and Management, wears a black tank top t-shirt and a very bright smile as her short blonde hair gently falls down the side of her face

Jennifer Terry

School & Area of Study Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy studying Nonprofit Management with a specialization in Sustainability Strategies

Involvement in the ProjectI began working on the project in the Sustainable Urban Communities class offered through Milano a year ago.  Since then I’ve been develop our team’s community relations with the Deanwood neighborhood and DC partners, researching this project’s potential beyond the scope of the Solar Decathlon in relation to public policy and organizing events surrounding the competition and Deanwood site.

Interesting Fact Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Kazakhstan 2006-2008

Even More Interesting I’m a marathon runner

Loves Most About the Sun I love that the sun produces the energy needed to make delicious food so that I can have the energy needed to work on cool projects like the Solar Decathlon. …

Dan Tipaldo, an electrical engineering student from the Stevens Institute of Technology, leans his head to one side as he pensively gazes in to the camera

Dan Tipaldo

School & Area of StudyI am a 3/5 undergraduate electrical engineering student at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Involvement in the Project On the project I work on the AC and DC electrical systems as well as the controls and instrumentation.

Interesting Fact While not working on the house I enjoy biking and some “on-the-side” programming.  …

Gal Gabriel, a student from the Milano School of Urban Policy and Management, wears short hair and a bright floral patterned shirt and she gently smiles at the camera

Gal Gabriel

School & Area of Study Graduate student at Milano The New School for International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy.

Involvement in the Project As an Urban Policy student, Gal has been involved in the Empowerhouse Collaborative outreach to the community and partners as well as in financial analysis and budgetary estimations. Gal’s schooling and experience as an Architect has also enabled her to contribute to the Empowerhouse design and Passive House certification efforts.

Loves Most About the Sun As a native of Israel, a country with an average of 320 days of sunshine per year, Gal loves the sun and sees it as the core of our energy future. …

Jen Morris, an architecture graduate student from the Parsons School of Design, wears a black tank top t-shirt and smiles at the camera as her short blonde hair blows in the wind

Jen Morris

School & Area of Study Parsons 3rd year architecture student

Involvement in the Project I am one of the stair/ light loft designers. I worked on various other interior elements and helped with water management planning. I also helped put together all of construction document sets. I have loved being a part of the entire Solar Decathlon experience. Through the late night drawing sessions, the design debates, and the long construction hours, it has all been an incredible learning experience!

Interesting Fact I love to dance and often wish my life were a musical!

Loves Most About the Sun The sun brings out more of my freckles. I used to hate them but I’m thinking they will one day merge into a giant freckle and I will finally be tan!  …

Priscilla Lee, an architecture student from the Parsons School of Design, smiles at the camera as her marvelous long black hair waves in the wind and falls over her white collared shirt

Priscilla Lee

School & Area of Study Parsons, Architecture and Environmental Studies

Involvement in Project I’ve been working on this project pretty much from the beginning, working on several aspects including Site, Community, and Material research, as well as playing a role in the architectural design and sponsorship.

Interesting FactI really love working on this project because green architecture is exactly the path I want to pursue. I hope to design buildings that work harmoniously with nature, so that it has low impact on the environment and is a work of art on it’s own. 

What You Love Most About the Sun- I love that the sun makes people happy. 

Brendan Mahoney, an architecture graduate student at the Parsons School of Design, wears square framed glasses, a blue shirt, and a bright smile as he looks at the camera

Brendan Mahoney

School & Area of Study 3rd year Masters of Architecture student at Parsons. 

Involvement in the Project Involoved with the interior planning, layout and design for Empowerhouse.  Holding the belief that aesthetics has real implications for quality of life, I hope to utilize his design knowledge to fix real problems in the world.

Loves Most About the Sun The reflected quality of the sun’s light in the autumn that makes the foliage look surreal. …

Robert Miller, an architecture graduate student at the Parsons School of Design, wears a red shirt and a pensive smirk.

Robert Miller

School & Area of Study Parsons || Architecture

Involvement in the Project Involved in the design and development of the envelope from structural details, to form and finish materials. I have helped frame the house and in mid summer I was named Health and Safety Officer.

Interesting Fact On a good day I am able to do an assisted hand stand for at least five and half seconds.

What You Love Most About the Sun There is no better place to be under the sun then in the ocean on the beach. Except, maybe on top of a snow covered mountain. …

Nicole Defeo, an architecture graduate student at the Parsons School of Design, leans to one side as she smiles in to the camera, her hair tied back as it blows in the wind.

Nicole De Feo

School & Area of Study Masters of Architecture candidate at Parsons School of Design || Architecture Team member

Involvement in the Project Roof and PV System design, compost consultant

Interesting FactI have worms in my apartment, and tomatoes on my roof

Loves Most About the Sun Its potential…

John Stinar, a graduate of the Milano School of Urban Policy and Management, wears a blue striped, collared shirt, and a very happy smile.

John Stinar

School & Area of Study Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy || Organizational Change Management

Involvement in the Project I have been with the project from the first course offered in the fall of 2009 when the New School and Stevens Institute submitted a proposal for the 2011 Solar Decathlon.  Most of my involvement in the project has been securing and working with our community partners.  One of my favorite memories was traveling to Washington D.C. in January 2010 with faculty members Laura Briggs and Alison Mears to meet with Habitat for Humanity of D.C. and the Washington D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development, Property Acquisition and Disposition Department.  These initial meetings in early 2010 produced our partnership with these two organizations which has allowed our team to make a real home for a D.C. family. 

Contribution to the Project I started the project as a student and transitioned into a part time faculty role after graduating with my masters degree.  The major contributions from the Milano Sustainable Urban Communities Course includes working with our community, governmental and non-profit partners to explore how to leverage the Solar Decathlon project into more sustainable homes in Washington D.C.

Interesting Fact I was raised on a dairy farm in Colorado.

Event More Interesting Fact I moved to New York City after completing my undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering.  Being involved in this project has been great as I am able to leverage my engineering background.

Loves Most About the Sun That is keeps us all alive. …

Nathaniel Cox, an electrical engineering student at the Stevens Institute of Technology, wears a blue shirt as he looks straight in to the camera, his ears wide in the frame.

Nathaniel Cox

School & Area of Study I am currently a senior studying electrical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Involvement in the Project In the Empowerhouse Project, I am one of the electrical engineers and I also work on the controls engineering aspect of the project.

Interesting Fact I got interested in electrical engineering after taking an electronics course in high school that focused on house wiring and microelectronics.

Loves Most About the Sun I love the sun because it makes the weather warm during summer! …

Jessica Barnhouse, an architecture Student at the Parsons School of Design, tilts her head to the side as her long hair falls down her bare neck and black shirt. She looks pensive and thoughtful, contemplating the water features of Empowerhouse.

Jessica Barnhouse

School & Area of Study Candidate Masters of Architecture 2011, Parsons School of Design

Involvement in the Project Joined the Empowerhouse Collaborative at the beginning of 2011. She has focused mainly on exterior elements of the house including foundations bur primarily water related exhibit strategies and landscaping to promote responsible water management practices. She has interfaced with many of the Washington, D.C. agencies to implement exciting water management features like
bioretention cells, once the house is relocated to its permanent home in the Deanwood neighborhood.

Something Worth Sharing Jessica is an avid reader of just about every subject. Her favorite novel is Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude and she hopes to one day become proficient in Spanish to read it in its original language.

Loves Most About the Sun Life itself. …

Francis Garcia, an electrical engineer from the Stevens Institute of Technology, wears a blue shirt and a very bright smile

Francis Garcia

School & Area of Study Stevens Institute of Technology || Bachelors of Engineering in Electrical Engineering, Minor in Mechatronics, Expected ||Graduate Certificate in Autonomous Robotics ||Graduate Certificate in Robotics and Control || 2013

Involvement in the Project Project Electrical Engineer

Contribution to the Project Designed electrical floor plans utilizing the National Electric Code. Assisted in the design of lighting floor plans. Calculated conductor sizing and overcurrent protection for main load center and branch circuits. Helped design and develop control system utilizing EnOcean light switches, relays, and temperature and humidity sensors.

Interesting Fact I’ve ran cross country and track and field for eight years, in high school and now in college. I’m a proud member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, New Jersey Alpha RLC chapter at Stevens.

Loves Most About the Sun I love to watch the sun come up over the horizon at the start of the day, be it over the woods back home in West Milford or over the New York City skyline in Hoboken …

Heather Zanoni, a student from the Milano School of Urban Policy & Management, wears a denim jacket and a bright smile

Heather Zanoni

School & Area of Study Milano: MS Environmental Policy

Involvement in the Project Community Engagement, Government Relations, PR, Permit/Variance, Grant applications, Green Certifications, Event Planning, Social Media since Fall 2010

Interesting Fact I was a competitor in a Pierogie Eating Contest.

Even More Interesting Fact I hope to never own a car.

Loves Most About the Sun “There’s a place in the sun – Where there’s hope for ev’ryone –
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run – There’s a place in the sun – And before my life is done – Got to find me a place in the sun” ~Stevie Wonder …

Karina Andreeva, a student from the Parsons School of Design, wears a black shirt and smiles at the camera with her curly hair waving in the wind

Karina Andreeva

School & Area of Study Parsons School of Design || Architecture

Involvement in the Project :: Miscellaneous Assistant

Contribution to the Project Assisting Orlando Velez and Laura Briggs with operations.

Interesting Fact I have a Russian-American interface. Grew up comparing and mixing the two cultures, which formed a curious and skeptical outlook.

Even More Interesting Fact In love with Science and Art.

Loves Most About the Sun The only other natural phenomenon that comes almost as close to defining our everyday life is gravity. …

Andrew McGregor, an architecture student from the Parsons School of Design wears a grey shirt. Pointing towards the camera, his gesture suggests he is enthralled with the sun.

Andrew McGregor

School & Area of Study || 3rd Year Master of Architecture Student at Parsons the New School For Design

Involvement in the Project Architectural Designer, PV Array Designer, Blogger, Construction Mercenary

Interesting Fact I have an eccentric obsession with architecture and its relevancy in the zombie apocalypse.  Luck favors the prepared.

I like to touch building materials.  If I am touching your house, it means I am curious about what you built it with and have an appreciation for your design. Despite the structural and waterproofing hardships of green roofs on buildings, I still love them and try to put them in everything I design, even in small amounts.

Event More Interesting Before this project I was an electrical white belt.  Now I can say I might be a green belt with an orange stripe.  It’s always fun to learn something new, but is usually sprinkled with much frustration.  Still it’s a net gain.

Loves Most About The Sun .Warmth. .Shadow. .Vitamin D… YUM. …

Melvin Williams the third, an engineering graduate from the Stevens Institute of Technology, holds a white helmet in one hand, while his other supports his chin and grin as he looks towards the camera

Melvin Williams III

School & Area of Study A recent graduate of the Product Architecture and Engineering program at Stevens Institute of Technology where he earned his Master’s of Engineering degree.

Interesting Fact An architect from NYC with 7 years experience, he has worked on projects ranging in size from small installations to large scale city infrastructure. Melvin’s experience professionally allows him to be comfortable as a project lead or team partner.  With his B.Arch and M.Eng, he plans to both practice and further his research in developing contextually significant and environmentally sound architecture. …

Travis Heithoff, a mechanical engineer from the Stevens Institute of Technolgy, wears orange ear protection around his neck, a white t-shirt, and a chirpy smile as he looks at the camera

Travis Heithoff

School & Area of Study Graduated with a Master of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in May 2011.

Involvement in the Project Has been involved with the Empowerhouse team since June 2010. As the team’s Project Engineer, Travis works closely with all the various systems that make the house work, though he focuses primarily on the HVAC and plumbing systems.

Interesting Fact In his free time, he enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. He also enjoys spending time outdoors, particularly watching the sun rise over New York City during his morning run. …