What the Solar Roof Pod Means to Us

Architecture and Engineering students taking a lunch break with a pizza party
Back Row (left to right): Karl Francis, Asher Salzberg, Pablo Patino, Wallace Ng, Ivan Uquillas, Melissa Lopez,
George Fahim, Iskra Petrova, Francisco Arias, Samuel Mikhail
Front Row (left to right): Farah Ahmad, Shwuyi (Sue) Liu, Nisu Quayum, Fredy Urichima

The Solar Roof Pod is the treasured trophy of a group of Architecture students
at The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture. It is the product of nearly
two years of research, design, construction, and operation. After its acceptance into
the Solar Decathlon, the Solar Roof Pod became more than a design on paper. Our
Solar Roof Pod has turned many heads, as we began as a group of SSA students, and
set forth into a global and prestigious competition. It became a collaborative learning
process between architecture and engineering students, which is rare in University
education. It transformed architecture students into construction workers. It turned us
into agents of real estate marketing. It turned us into persuasive presenters, making us
public speakers at forums all over New York City, such as the Mayor’s Office and the
Museum of the City of New York. In short, it has given us the confidence to pursue our
careers as Architects, providing supplemental key skills: engineering, construction, and

Furthermore, the Solar Roof Pod, from initial conception to final construction, has
become a conceptual icon of New York City. Building industry professionals from New
York and elsewhere, agree that the Solar Roof Pod is what New York City needs to
enhance rooftop living experience in an urban environment. Its parallel agenda with the
Mayor’s sustainability plan, plaNYC 2030, strengthen its cause to make cities a greener
place to reside and work in.

The Solar Roof Pod has developed us as students, has become a pragmatic
New York City infrastructure with greater potential, and has certainly developed high
achieving recognition and reputation for the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of

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