Solar Decathlon Builds Home for Real Families
John Hayes posted on March 07, 2013 | | 3795 views

The Solar Decathlon is a university challenge to build affordable sustainable housing.

This video shows a collaboration between Parsons School of Design and Stevens Institute of Technology called the Empowerhouse. It was built at a cost of $230,000, winning the affordability contest.

The project helps young engineers and designers learn from building a real sustainable house. The big twist with the Empowerhouse is that after the competition, the two solar-powered homes will become actual homes for two families in the Washington DC area.

A few of the highlights of this net zero home are:

  • 4.2 kW solar array to produce all energy to heat and cool the home, power the lighting and run the hot water heater and aplicances
  • The water heater recovers heat from the exhaust of the condensing dryer.
  • Wireless switches control high efficiency lighting
  • Real time energy monitoring and ffedback through a smart home control system
  • Lighting that intgrates occupancy and daylight sensors

Visit and to learn more.