Solar Mobility Hubs


FACT 26, ARCH 511 / Spring 2022

Bus shelters and bike sheds occupy an awkward position in the design universe – they are neither small buildings nor large site furniture – yet they form an important part of the urban landscape, and in particular, the built environment of the university campus. This project will develop and realize a new prototype for such structures that re-envisions the type for a post carbon future. Taking a climate positive approach to construction and performance, we are developing a modular prototype with components serving bus stops, bike shelters, bike repair, scooter stations, and more. The mobility hubs explicitly feature two emerging elements of sustainable cities: 1. micro-power generation using standard solar p.v. modules and 2. mass timber construction systems. The scalable prototypes use mass timber structures with an active photovoltaic solar module canopy roofs to serve a range of mobility functions and public spaces.

Solar Mobility Hubs will “provide a focal point in the transportation network that seamlessly integrates different modes of transportation, multi-modal supportive infrastructure, and placemaking strategies to create activity centers that maximize first mile – last mile connectivity.” (Urban Design LA) Prompted by student activists, UNL Facilities, Planning & Capital Projects asked FACT to develop prototypes for solar-powered mobility hubs around the UNL campus.

The outcome of the concept design phase is a pair of prototype designs, one comprising a glue-laminated timber framework and the other using cross-laminated timber. Both versions utilize the same PV canopy roof design and are intended to coexist on the same campus as part of a family of options for a highly adaptable transportation system. After initial testing on the university campus, the prototype design and systems approach will be offered to other communities and campuses around the state where small scale multi-modal transportation is essential to a well-connected community.

FACT Spring 2022 studio:

Pedro Aguerro, Chris Bean, Taylor Brewer, Rin Le, Ben Stirtz, Will Wierda, Andrew Winter

Interns and Actual Architecture Co. staff: Andy Vo, Ethan Boerner