Several of the teams, like Massachusetts, were still working to complete their homes when we arrived on Wednesday, but the hard work paid off — Massachusetts has one of our favorite houses in the competition! Called the 4D Home, the structure has an adaptable interior with a moving wall that lets the family change the sizes of the main room. The solar panel array is atop a trellis that creates shade for the panoramic front porch.
Belgium’s team from Ghent University built a boxy E-cube designed to be a DIY prefab that you could build yourself without much special skill. The goal of the Ghent University students was to create a comfortable, solar-powered house with a lot of space on a small budget. Simplicity is at the core of their design and the home is stripped of nonessential components and finishes, leaving its structure and façade exposed to the interior. The home is totally prefabricated into a kit of parts and geared towards those who have the inclination to build the home themselves, but don’t have the time to construct it from scratch.
Team Canada’s TRTL home packs an incredible array of green building strategies into a compact 1,000 square foot home nestled beneath an arched 8.3 kW photovoltaic panel system. The home’s shape, along with its interior design, was inspired by the culture of Treaty 7 Native Peoples in Southern Alberta. The modular home was designed specifically for Southern Alberta and could help alleviate housing problems for the native communities.