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The University of Colorado's Solar Decathlon project demonstrates that efficient and environmentally-conscious houses can be built today without compromising the lifestyle or aesthetic standards of the modern homeowner. Balancing high quality, low-energy construction practices with architectural appeal, our Decathlon home merges subtle and cutting-edge technologies to provide a sustainable response to the growing environmental challenges of mass-market housing. The framework for these efforts is BASE + ("Base Plus ") - an acronym for our mission to work towards Building A Sustainable Environment.

Base Plus HouseThe following objectives and design guidelines were the format for our Base + concept:

  1. Educate students, the building industry, policy makers, and the public about the benefits of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies
  2. Promote commercially available technologies and practices for widespread applications that are adaptable in cost, size, climate, and architectural program
  3. Develop an elegant and integrated architectural design, guided by the following principles:
    • Minimize energy use
    • Decrease waste
    • Promote education
    • Create an appealing design that can be easily reconstructed
    • Execute quick, on-site construction