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Photo showing a large metal rectangular container with an opening revealing the kitchen unit inside. A man is attaching a metal plate to an opening on one end.

The University of Colorado made discarded cargo containers an integral part of their structure. Surplus containers of this type are widely available for conversion to such uses.

Photo showing the exterior of a square solar home unit with the porch and landscaping removed.

The cubicle core of the Darmstadt team's house sits devoid of its exterior trappings, waiting for a lift and its long journey back to Germany.

Photo of a tractor-trailer with a square unit of a solar house sitting on the trailer.

One of the three cubes forming the University of Illinois house is securely fitted to a tractor-trailer rig and ready for a road trip. Are we there yet?

Solar Decathlon 2007

Daily Journal - October 22, 2007

Moving Entire Houses!

Have you ever had to pack up and move? A new house...a new city? Well, multiply that by about 100 times and you've got moving day at the 2007 Solar Decathlon. Can you just imagine gathering up all those last bits and pieces and getting them packed away? Not to mention that this moving day involves the entire house!

One interesting thing about the disassembly of the village is that you get a chance to revisit the real insides of the houses and get a renewed appreciation for some of the core building elements that the teams used. We can get an even better feel, for example, for the University of Colorado's innovative recycling of cargo containers for living space and Darmstadt's elegantly simple core, around which they built their winning entry.

Likewise, when set on trucks for shipping back to the Midwest, we can clearly see the three independent cubes that the University of Illinois team fit together into one very livable unit. All the teams, of course, still have a full day plus of dismantling and packing, with most finishing up tomorrow. We wish them all the best and look back on—or forward to—our own moving days from a new perspective.