The 2011 SCI-Arc and Caltech Solar Decathlon team are well on their way to seeing their funky padded CHIP house to completion, and they're having a boat load of fun in the process. The CHIP house will feature an unconventional but up-and-coming puffy fabric exterior with a wooden frame. In keeping with the goal to maximize energy conservation and reduce the building's energy footprint, this unique envelope provides maximum insulation. The skin is buttressed with other advanced energy efficiency and generating technologies that puts it high on the competition's list of top contenders.
The roof-integrated photovoltaic panels will provide 7.8kW of energy. The CHIP team will slant the roof to achieve optimum solar exposure 365 days a year such that the home will have net-zero energy impact roughly 80% of the time. Top of the line energy-efficient appliances will be incorporated throughout the home, including the entertainment and home security systems.
Daylighting keeps the home nice and bright during the day, while energy efficient LEDs and CFLs light up the night. A suped up HVAC heat pump will extract excess heat from the interior, which it will use to power both the hot water heater and air conditioning.
Interested readers can keep track of the CHIP house’s developments on the team’s blog.