Solar Decathlon 2011 Part 2

Eric and I went to take a look at a few more houses at the decathlon yesterday.  Unfortunately, the open house hours ended at 2pm.  Seems kinda early.  Well, we’ll try again later.  We were able to get some pictures of houses and look leisurely at some exterior elements.


I love the exterior of the CHIP.  It’s outsulation really makes me rethink the skin of buildings.  And did you know that this is completely student-built?  There are only four out of the 19 that were actually student-built.   I wonder if they get extra credit for that.  They really should!

Tailgate Party at CHIP

Unit 6 by Team Tidewater

Unit 6 by Team Tidewater

Nice mix of traditional materials in a modern style

Shades at Unit 6

Solar Homestead by Appalachian State

Lot of regional character.

Natural Tree Bark Sidings at the Solar Homestead

Tree bark protect trees when they are alive, so why shouldn’t it protect dead trees?  This makes intuitive sense.

More Bark


Enjoy House by New Jersey

Pre-cast concrete.  The only masonry structure here.  I believe the concrete panels are built using thermalmass system, i.e. Rigid foam sandwiched by two sides of concrete.

E-Cube by Team Belgium

Clean lines but seems a little boring.

E-Cube with Shades

Watershed by University of Maryland

A beautiful house house by Maryland.  Heavy on water conservation.  Butterfly roof with PVs and a green roof.

Watershed in Action

Here’s a real watershed moment.  Wonder if they measured how much water they collected.

Living Light by University of Tennessee

I really like the Living Light’s modern look.  I think everything just kind of “fits”.  Beautiful design!


Speaking of beautiful, we parked our little Prius behind this guy.  The funny thing was across the street was the display of the Nissan Leaf and a Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid.  I wanted to tell the visitors to go across the street and see the real deal.


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