The Missouri University of Science and Technology entry in the U.S. Solar Decathlon 2013 competition, which takes place in Irvine, California on October 3-13, 2013, is Chameleon House, so named for its ability to adapt to the environment and transform according to the needs of its residents.
Winners of the Solar Decathlon China 2013, Team UOW (of University of Wollongong and TAFE Illawarra Institute) was the first Australian team to have ever won a place in a Solar Decathlon final and was the largest student-run competition that the UoW has ever entered.
Hosted by the United States Department of Energy, the Chinese National Energy Administration, and Peking University, Solar Decathlon China 2013 challenged 24 teams from 14 countries to design, build, and operate a solar-powered home that is energy efficient, cost effective to build, and appealing. Categories in which entries are judged include architecture, engineering, solar application, energy balance, market appeal, home entertainment, and appliances.
Jay Hicks didn’t miss a beat when he lost his South Carolina cabin to a fire. He decided to build off of the 80-year-old original structure’s partial wall that had remained standing and devised a plan to have Addison Homes design and build a high-performance, energy efficient home that would have an old-world charm.
Fitting the floor plan to the topography and granite subsurface of the site that is located near Caesars Head State Park, Todd Usher, president of Addison Homes, directed workers to follow the flow of the rock shelf and form a foundation of concrete footings made of recycled content. Rigid foam insulation that was placed under the slab serves as a thermal break. The structure is oriented to benefit from passive solar heating and natural daylighting.
One of twenty teams that have been chosen to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 competition, Team Texas is comprised of eighty students from multiple disciplines at University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and El Paso Community College.
Their submission is the $250,000 ADAPT home, a single family dwelling that takes on the unique challenges of the Far West Texas region where a high temperatures, low humidity, an average rainfall of eight inches a year, and strong winds can create a harsh and dusty environment in the Chihuahua desert that features mountain plateaus, high deserts, chaparrals, and verdant farmland. Taking cues from desert flora and fauna, ADAPT is an acronym for Accommodate, Design, Adjust, Provide, and Transform.
In the heart of a densely populated Washington, D.C. neighborhood that has easy access to public transportation and bicycle routes, this historically-protected Georgetown rowhouse (circa 1800s) received a restoration treatment that brought it into the 21st century and helped it to achieve LEED Platinum certification.
Environmentally sustainable modifications to the 3,300 square foot home came in at $269 per square foot and had to be approved by the neighborhood’s stringent historic preservation review process.
This Nederland, Colorado container home, designed by Studio H:T, performs at net-zero energy consumption by utilizing passive strategies of insulation and orientation, active solar photovoltaic and thermal systems, and the harvesting of on-site renewable fuel (timber is selectively and sustainably cleared to burn in the high-efficiency wood stove).