Skip navigation to main content

A Real House

Our design seeks to address these questions – to provide real-world solutions for the real energy challenges we face – while honoring the constraints of the Solar Decathlon competition. Although the competition limits each team’s home size to about 700 ft2, the Colorado team is taking a bold approach by building a 2100 ft2 full-size home and delivering a smaller competition module to Washington, D.C.

The competition module – or simply the module – will represent the full house in the Solar Decathlon events. The module conforms to the constraints of the competition and includes only the kitchen, part of the living room, guest bedroom, bathroom, and an integrated hallway and mechanical room.

The full-size house – or simply the house – has 2100 ft2 of floor area, and includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a larger living room and a small family/office area. All building systems, including mechanical, electrical, and solar energy systems, are designed and sized for the house, rather than the module. All heating, cooling, and indoor air quality control systems will be sized for the full house, yet will allow modularity for the competition module. The PV system used for the competition will provide the full house with an appropriately-sized array to make it a net zero energy home.

The house features the following specific design elements.