Resources for the Washington DC area




 Photo Highlights of the 2007 Solar Decathlon on the National Mall in Washington DC





 Site search | Links







The 2007 Solar Decathlon has some of the most advanced technologies available for designing a zero energy home. Here's some highlights.


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A lot of people wonder "how can I get a home like one of these?" Generally, you can't buy a home like these. They just don't end up with plans altered from the 800 square foot Decathlon size limit to the 2000+ square foot size that most people want. One home, however, that's has had some thought given to this is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The home in the Decathlon uses 3 modules. However more modules could be added on.  You can read more about their modular design at their website.

If you want a home similar to one of these homes, you may want to take a look at the site. Members of the Cornell team in the 2005 Decathlon went on to start this design company.

The three modules are visible; each module has it's own photovoltaic array.

a model showing several modules, with estimated prices

the joint between two modules

the south facing side





The MIT team used a section on the south facing wall made of panels filled with Aerogel. The panels let in light, and in the winter, capture and store heat from the sun. The wall section then gives a comfy radiant heat. In the summer, the wall would be shaded by something such as an overhang. How far out the overhang would need to be would be dependant on the location of the house. In different parts of the country, the sun's angle would be different.

interior view of the thermal wall

exterior view

Many of the homes, such as the one from MIT, use evacuated tube technology for water heating.


Technische Universitat Darmstadt

One of the true world leaders in setting goals toward a clean, sustainable future in Germany. The home from Technische Universitat Darmstadt gives a glimpse of what the future will look like - one in which homes have highly integrated use of clean energy generating technologies.

Each of these strips has photovoltaic (PV) cells to make electricity. A tracking system tilts the louvers to get the best angle toward the sun.

the side wall from a distance

semitransparent photovoltaic modules (facing upward)

more about this school's house


Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

A Prius that has been modified so that it can be recharged at night was on display.


highlights of the New York Institute of Technology House



 Oct. 2007, edited Apr. 2009









2002 - 2005 David Walls. All rights reserved.