Inspirational Solar Homes at the 2011 Solar Decathlon

Solar Home

Many creative minds eager to present unparalleled ideas can be seen at the annual U.S. Department of Energy awarded Solar Decathlon. The year 2011 is no different as colleges from all over the world participate in challenging innovation and opposite teams to create solar-powered houses that are inexpensive yet effective. Since the D-date of September 23rd is just around the corner, competition is intensifying between colleges who are seen putting on a brilliant display of energy-efficient homes at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. Check below for some amazing innovations!

Appalachian State University: Appalachian State University’s solar home is motivated by the traditional Appalachian settlements where they have composed self-sufficient buildings connected to the central living room that links indoor and outdoor space.

University of Calgary: Canada’s University of Calgary students have carved their solar home by taking inspiration from the native homes of people in southern Alberta. Their TRTL (Technological Residence, Traditional Living) design home imbibes a curved solar roof to provide power to technologies like air to the water heat pump and hot water production.

Tongji University: China’s Tongji University’s Y-shaped solar house is made up of six recycled prefabricated shipping containers that are easy to assemble and transport. The house is adapted for individuals who desire an independent lifestyle.

SCI-Arc/Caltech University: The Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology’s CHIP house is a futuristic creation with a puffed exterior of vinyl-coated fabric mesh that gives it the “out-of-the-box” look.

Florida International University: Florida International University’s perFORM[D]ance House is an interactive solar powerhouse that communicates with its residents and environment through an open pavilion design.  The exterior of the house is made habitable by connecting it with the operable louvres that can be raised and lowered as per privacy needs.

Many other interesting solar homes are as innovative and creative as the ones mentioned above. Find more about them on DOE Solar Decathlon’s official website.

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