Buildings movie night solar decathlon

Published on August 15th, 2014 | by Amber Archangel

2

Solar Decathlon Asks: What Makes A House A Home?

August 15th, 2014 by  

1Sun4All

A house is just a building until people live in it. Then it becomes a home.

Although U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon houses are not lived in during competition, Solar Decathlon visitors may ask themselves whether they could be comfortable homes when stepping through their thresholds, reports Carol Laurie for the U.S Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

Could I live here?

From a competition standpoint, this question is answered through the Home Life Contest, which measures how well each house accommodates comfortable living—including aspects such as sharing meals with friends and family, watching movies, and using a computer. The Home Life Contest also simulates taking a warm shower and spending time in a well-lit space.

movie night solar decathlon home

Decathletes from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas host a meal for student dinner party guests during the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013. Dinner parties are part of the Home Life Contest, which helps teams get to know one another while demonstrating how comfortable the competition houses might be to live in. | Credit: Eric Grigorian | U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

For this contest, teams receive points for:

  • Hosting two dinner parties for neighboring teams
  • Hosting a movie night for neighboring teams
  • Turning on all interior and exterior house lights during specified time periods
  • Operating a television and computer during specified time periods
  • Producing 15 gallons (56.8 L) of hot water (110°F/43.3°C) from the shower in 10 minutes or less several times during the competition.

Teams plan their dinner party menus in advance, and each menu must feature food and beverages prepared in the house. (See the 2013 University of Las Vegas team’s menu for an example.) For the movie night, guests from neighboring teams watch a movie with the host team on its home theater system. Together, the dinner parties and movie night evaluate the functionality of each house while simultaneously providing an opportunity for competing students to get to know one another.

Completing these tasks brings teams together and provides an indication of whether each Solar Decathlon house could be considered a home.

You may want to check out a very cool Solar Decathlon 2013 home: Have You Ever Wanted To Live In A Net-Zero Log Cabin? (VIDEO)

Fans of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon mark your calendars:

Solar Decathlon 2015 will be held October 8-18, 2015, at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. You can check out the team lineup for the competition and the concepts for their net zero houses on the 2015 team pages.

Source: 1Sun4All. Reproduced with permission. 
 
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About the Author

-- I am an artist, painter, writer, interior designer, graphic designer, and constant student of many studies. Living with respect for the environment close at hand, the food chain, natural remedies for healing the earth, people and animals is a life-long expression and commitment. As half of a home-building team, I helped design and build harmonious, sustainable and net-zero homes that incorporate clean air systems, passive and active solar energy as well as rainwater collection systems. Private aviation stirs a special appeal, I would love to fly in the solar airplane and install a wind turbine in my yard. I am a peace-loving, courageous soul, and I am passionate about contributing to the clean energy revolution. I formerly designed and managed a clean energy website, 1Sun4All.com.



  • jburt56

    A futon!!!

  • IMPOed

    We, as the American elite, are the most wasteful species on the planet, we waste millions of tons of food, cars idling hours upon hours getting them warm, or cool, lights on in unoccupied rooms, 24/7 coffee pots ready at a moments notice, 5 bedroom homes for a couple that will never have children or they have left home years ago, buying tons of crap we will never use or don’t really need creating more waste, polluting the planet, oops, now I am ranting again,,
    I love this stuff!

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