DesertSol is a super-resilient prefabricated home designed by Solar Decathlon Team Las Vegas as a base for Mojave desert explorers. Powered entirely by the sun and wrapped in pre-weathered materials to protect it against the harsh desert environment, the 754 square foot home boasts a bevy of sustainability features, including in-floor radiant heating, rainwater harvesting, smart energy control and a tight but breathable envelope.
Team Las Vegas is made up of 60 students from various disciplines and already they have shown themselves to be highly organized and poised to win with a design that is not only befitting to the Mojave desert site for which it is intended, but also complementary. Topped with 30 efficient solar panels that generate a total of 6.7 kilowatts of clean energy, the home will return to Las Vegas as a prototypical green home once the Solar Decathlon in Orange County, California comes to a close.
Creating a deep connection between the indoors and outdoors without sacrificing energy or water efficiency formed a fundamental component of the design brief. Rainwater is harvested and recycled not only for irrigation but also for cooling purposes, and a multipurpose sprinkler system is hooked up the home’s potable water system for even greater control over the conservation of precious water resources.
In addition to energy-efficient LED lighting and solar-heated water, an automated smart system allows occupants to dim, turn on and turn off lights at any time, even when they aren’t at home, and to control the HVAC system in the same way. All of the interior furnishings have been selected for their eco-sensibility, comfort and aesthetics, and plenty of natural light ensures a comfortable interior environment. Team Las Vegas is aiming for the highest possible LEED rating for their solar home – Platinum.