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Denver, Colorado
October 5-15, 2017

Northwestern: Northwestern University

Team website:

For the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017, Northwestern University is designing a high-performing, sustainable house that is well-adapted to the harsh Chicago climate with minimal impact on its surrounding environment—including energy, water, waste, and the ecosystem. House by Northwestern will connect Chicago's rich traditions in architecture and innovation to the promise of the future.

Design Philosophy

The target market for House by Northwestern is a baby-boomer couple, close to retirement, whose children no longer live at home. The team has recruited and conducted interviews and home visits with individuals who represent the target market. Throughout the process of designing and building the house, the team will rely on user testing and feedback to ensure the house meets the target market's unique needs and desires for a safe, functional, convenient, comfortable, and enjoyable home.


    Planned Features and Technologies

    • Modern construction and manufacturing practices that support cost-effectiveness and buildability of the house design
    • Energy-efficient appliances
    • Home automation technologies
    • Passive design strategies
    • Reconfigurable interiors
    • A holistic approach that leverages technological advancements for the customization and continual evolution of desired solutions.


    Maggie Waldron