Gallery: 2011 Solar Decathlon Sun-Powered House Competition Kicks Off i...

photo © Jill Fehrenbacher for Inhabitat

We have affectionately nicknamed SCI-Arc’s house the “puffy house,” as it creatively wears its insulation on its exterior. The home is actually called CHIP, which stands for compact hyper-insulated prototype, and it is designed to challenge every architectural and engineering preconception about zero energy homes.

Team Florida’s got a prime location with the Washington Monument located behind it. Using superior insulation, solar thermal and solar PV, and recycled materials, the FLeX house aims to be the ultimate net-zero home built specifically for Florida’s hot and humid climate.

We love Team Ohio’s frosted glassy exterior. The enCORE house boasts 930 square feet of living space built around a central mechanical core, leaving lots of space for work, play, and sleep. The team used thin film solar photovoltaics atop the roof that were locally manufactured in Ohio and cost nearly 70% less than typical solar arrays.

New Zealand’s First Light House was a favorite among Inhabitat and one of the houses that many of the students believe could be the ultimate winner. The beautifully butterflied house uses sheep’s wool insulation, and it has an innovative drying cupboard that dries clothes quickly by pumping solar-heated hot water through a metal exchanger.


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  1. kelly moore September 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm


    What projects are you interested in???

    Kelly Moore

  2. atitaya wongkiam September 26, 2011 at 8:56 am

    interesting projects and want to know more about it.

  3. Kelly Moore September 26, 2011 at 7:41 am

    I would like to know how the envelope of the buildings are built? How much R-Value they have?

    All the things like water walls and funky looking boxes are good but how many people in neighborhoods are willing to have them next door to them, kinda like Brad Pitt’s Make it Right in The 9TH Ward?

    Lets make it look like a traditionally built home …BUT make it NET-ZERO…

    The home in the pictures #13 looks great because you could move it into any place in America and it would be welcome…

    Kelly Moore

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