20 Beautiful Solar Decathlon Homes


In a few hours, the U.S. Department of Energy will announce final results of the Solar Decathlon at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  The Solar Decathlon is a competition of 20 teams of college and university students to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house.  There are 10 subjective and objective contests in these categories: architecture, market viability, engineering, lighting design, communications, comfort zone, hot water, appliances, home entertainment, and net metering.  At this time, the engineering and net metering contests are the only scores that have not been released.  Is the suspense getting to you yet?

Illinois is the leader of the pack, but Team Germany may be the overwhelming favorite.  Nevertheless, each team’s contribution is worth considering.  For this reason, here’s our wrap up of Solar Decathlon 2009 with images and links to team websites.  Congrats to everyone and thanks for the inspiration …

1.  SEED [pod] by The University of Arizona.


2.  Silo House by Cornell University (our Silo House coverage).


3.  Gable Home by U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (our coverage).


4.  Interlock House by Iowa State University.


5.  s.ky blue house by University of Kentucky.


6.  Icon Solar House by University of Minnesota.


7.  Ohio-centric Solar House by The Ohio State University.


8.  Natural Fusion House by Penn State.


9.  CASH by Universidad de Puerto Rico.


10.  ZEROW House by Rice University.


11.  SolAbode by Team Alberta.


12.  Curio House by Team Boston.


13.  Refract House by Team California (our Refract House coverage).


14.  surPLUShome by Team Germany (our SurPLUShome coverage).


15.  Show-Me House by Team Missouri.


16.  The North House by Team Ontario/BC.


17.  The B&W House by Team Spain.


18.  BeauSoleil House by University of Louisiana at Lafayette.


19.  Lumenhaus by Virginia Tech.


20.  Meltwater House by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Photo credits: Department of Energy/Solar Decathlon.

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  • Anonymous

    They all did a great job…. I would consider myself lucky to live in any of them.

    I am disappointed that my personal choice, team Arizona’s SEED pod only finished 18th. I don’t think the categories of judgment put proper importance on sustainability outside of household energy. SEED includes a greenhouse and greywater recycling…

  • http://mportlandrealestate.com/ Portland Real Estate

    Great contest! We need to start subsidizing these houses or something to get them built faster. -Tyler

  • Anonymous

    I think the entries are much more attractive this year.
    I also think that affordabilty shoud be right up there when considering the best entrant. As a marketing company, we have to consider functionanality, appearance, and price. Prices approaching one million dollars are just not acceptable in the mass housing market. In the real world we need simple, highly functional, and affordable solar homes. Perhaps the parameters of the judging should be changed.

  • http://www.erikorganic.com/bedroom/bedroom-dressers.shtml bedroom dresser

    Nice thing that the students are using their talent and knowledge to help conserve energy and help the people and nature.

  • Anonymous

    They are all great, but I especially love the converted silo house. I love the natural ‘rust finish’ and that fact that they re-used on existing structure. I think it’s fantastic that these competitions exist, and the students get a chance to really show off their creativity. It’s inspirational and so important to raising consciousness about how homes could be built.

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