Diane Pham

Stevens Institute's Ecohabit Home Stands Out with Photovoltaic Shingles at the Solar Decathlon 2013

by , 10/07/13


Solar Decathlon, Solar Decathlon 2013, DOE, DOE competition, solar decathlon, 2013 solar decathlon, solar decathlon 2013, SD 2013, prefab home, solar home, net-zero home, net-zero, zero energy, student project, student team, irvine, california, department of energy, top 6 teams to watch, eco design, green building, green architecture, green design, sustainable building, sustainable design, sustainable architecture, doe, doe solar decathlon, team czech 2013 solar decathlon, czech solar decathlon entry, czech technical university, czech technical university air house, team czech air house, air house, czech air house solar decathlon, stevens institute, stevens institute ecohabit, solar decathlon ecohabit, ecohabit, solar shingles

The 1,300 square foot home is a simple, low-slung L-shaped construction made up of two modules—a ‘dry module’ that hosts all of the home’s living areas and a ‘wet module’ containing all of Ecohabit’s plumbing and mechanical systems. Though the team came from the east coast, they opted to design Ecohabit with southern California temperatures in mind. The home features a single bedroom, a single bathroom, and places heavy emphasis on outdoor living. Two sizable covered patio and porch areas wrap the home, and a spectacular green wall and green roof provides an area to grow edibles while also doubling up as an extra layer of insulation. Folding glass doors extend the living room and kitchen outdoors.

As a net-zero, passive home, Ecohabit incorporates an innovative bio-phase-change material (bioPCM) throughout the structure. With bioPCMs the house is able to self-regulate its temperatures by harnessing the sun’s energy. As the sun heats up the home during the day, the bioPCM absorbs the energy and enters a liquid state. When things start to cool down at night, the bioPCM solidifies and releases energy. The home also uses Dow Powerhouse solar shingles, which impressively not only look and perform as effectively as regular asphalt shingles, but do not require a racking system to generate its 5.8kW of energy.

Solar Decathlon, Solar Decathlon 2013, DOE, DOE competition, solar decathlon, 2013 solar decathlon, solar decathlon 2013, SD 2013, prefab home, solar home, net-zero home, net-zero, zero energy, student project, student team, irvine, california, department of energy, top 6 teams to watch, eco design, green building, green architecture, green design, sustainable building, sustainable design, sustainable architecture, doe, doe solar decathlon, team czech 2013 solar decathlon, czech solar decathlon entry, czech technical university, czech technical university air house, team czech air house, air house, czech air house solar decathlon, stevens institute, stevens institute ecohabit, solar decathlon ecohabit, ecohabit, solar shingles

To save on water, Ecohabit uses a three-component water harvesting system that includes the roof garden, green wall, and roof drainage system. The home also uses an on-demand hot water system that requires much less energy to heat water and alerts the user when it reaches a comfy heat for showering, washing dishes, etc. This completely alleviates the need to run excess water to reach an optimal temperature.

Solar Decathlon, Solar Decathlon 2013, DOE, DOE competition, solar decathlon, 2013 solar decathlon, solar decathlon 2013, SD 2013, prefab home, solar home, net-zero home, net-zero, zero energy, student project, student team, irvine, california, department of energy, top 6 teams to watch, eco design, green building, green architecture, green design, sustainable building, sustainable design, sustainable architecture, doe, doe solar decathlon, team czech 2013 solar decathlon, czech solar decathlon entry, czech technical university, czech technical university air house, team czech air house, air house, czech air house solar decathlon, stevens institute, stevens institute ecohabit, solar decathlon ecohabit, ecohabit, solar shingles

All of the systems in the home are backed up by a smart detection system that has been developed exclusively for Ecohabit. To gather info, “smart detectors” are placed throughout the home, collecting data such as temperature, humidity, and motion. All the collected data can be accessed through the smart device, and because the program runs on an algorithm, the system will evolve with the homeowners, learning from their living patterns and eventually operating the home autonomously based on their needs.

There’s no question that Team Stevens will be a top contender at this year’s Solar Decathlon, but will they take home top prize? The team is hoping that this year’s win will top their 2011 victory in the ‘Affordability’ category.

+ EcoHabit by the Stevens Institute

+ Inhabitat Solar Decathlon Coverage

Photos by Mike Chino for Inhabitat

Related Posts

LEAVE A COMMENT

or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:


1 Comment

  1. Michael Torres October 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I want a small 3 bed 2 bath affordable eco-friendly home. This is my dream.

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
What are you looking for? (Solar, HVAC, etc.)
Where are you located?