This is the Missouri Team’s fifth Solar Decathlon competition. In fact, they are the only team worldwide to have been accepted into five of the six U.S. Department of Energy intercollegiate architecture and solar energy competition. Although still short of a win, their previous entries are in current use as solar student housing at the Missouri University Science and Technology Campus.
For their 2013 entry, the experienced team has molded and perfected their design based on feedback from previous designs, making them a very strong contender in this year’s competition with the fascinating Chameleon House, a modular design with an advanced automation system and highly engineered energy systems that allow for optimal energy control and savings. Addressing the multiple needs of various market and regional issues, the Chameleon House was designed to be adaptable to various environments while providing a comfortable and individualized home space.
The structure is clad in structurally insulated panels (SIP’s), and a photovoltaic array lines the roof and concrete floors provide thermal mass energy throughout the core space. The home’s main entry is a south-facing solarium designed to extend the interior living space into the surrounding outdoor environment. This area also provides passive light and shade for temperature control, reducing the home’s energy costs.