U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013, Smart Home Management System, DOE Solar Decathlon 2013, Live Coverage, Edible Plants, Team Capitol DC, Harvest Home, Wounded Warrior Homes, War Veterans, Net-Zero Home, Solar Power, Natural Ventilation, DOE, Department of Energy,

Almost entirely surrounded by edible and native plants, the landscaping blurs the line between interior and exterior environments, doubling the amount of usable space, and creating an expansive sense of openness. This creates a connection with nature, and makes it easier for the inhabitant to maintain access to the local community. An ample supply of organic produce is ensured by the greywater collection system that harvests rainwater and feeds it back into the surrounding greenery.

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013, Smart Home Management System, DOE Solar Decathlon 2013, Live Coverage, Edible Plants, Team Capitol DC, Harvest Home, Wounded Warrior Homes, War Veterans, Net-Zero Home, Solar Power, Natural Ventilation, DOE, Department of Energy,

The interior of the home features an amazing shade system that automatically opens and closes to let in the perfect amount of light, without the use of electricity. It changes position using a metal wire that contracts and expands depending on the amount of heat absorbed by the blind. Throughout the rest of the house, reclaimed and recycled materials were used where possible. Some of the components we saw that made use of second-hand resources included wall framing, exterior decking, a rain screen, interior flooring, and the furniture.

Photos by Mike Chino for Inhabitat

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013, Smart Home Management System, DOE Solar Decathlon 2013, Live Coverage, Edible Plants, Team Capitol DC, Harvest Home, Wounded Warrior Homes, War Veterans, Net-Zero Home, Solar Power, Natural Ventilation, DOE, Department of Energy,

Natural ventilation ensures the house can make the most of a passing breeze, creating a comfortable environment that is always supplied with fresh air. When it comes to keeping the cold out, a unique under-floor heating and cooling distribution system supplies air at floor-level from ductwork connected to a central air handler located in the mechanical closet. Photovoltaic and flat-plate solar thermal systems produce any power required by the house, including that used to provide domestic hot water.

With so many features to keep track of, there is a smart home management system that is able to monitor and track energy used and saved. Instead of just providing a readout, the system is also able to adapt to the occupant’s lifestyle, with minimal input needed on their part. The house also been designed to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act, providing maximum accessibility to its occupants.

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013, Smart Home Management System, DOE Solar Decathlon 2013, Live Coverage, Edible Plants, Team Capitol DC, Harvest Home, Wounded Warrior Homes, War Veterans, Net-Zero Home, Solar Power, Natural Ventilation, DOE, Department of Energy,

When all is said and done, the Harvest Home will be donated to Wounded Warrior Homes, which will place it in a climate similar to that of Irvine, California. The organization will then find a veteran willing to live in harmony with the principles of the home that include a deeply rooted connection to the natural environment, the human spirit, and the well-being of future generations.

+ Inhabitat Solar Decathlon Coverage

+ Team Capitol DC

Photos by Mike Chino for Inhabitat