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.
Chameleon House blends a modular living space with an advanced automation system, solar thermal systems, and a photovoltaic system to achieve exceptional levels of energy efficiency. Aspects of the customizable space include an adaptable partition wall on an open floor plan, a grid storage wall, and reconfigurable cabinets in the kitchen. A south-facing solarium expands the interior living space into the outdoors.
Innovative engineered radiant systems replace some of the typical HVAC systems while incorporating passive house strategies such as thermal mass, overhangs, ventilation, and heat recovery. Roof-mount and flat-plate thermal collectors add to the overall efficiency of the design.
After Chameleon House returns to Missouri, it will help to raise awareness of solar energy in the state by being available for tours and research opportunities in the Solar Village, where previous Solar Decathlon entries from 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2009 serve as outreach assets and student housing.