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Photo of Silo House at Solar Decathlon 2009. Enlarge image

Silo House has taken up residence in Ossipee, New Hampshire, with a stone house as its neighbor.
(Photo courtesy of the owner)

Who: Cornell University
What: Silo House
Ossipee, NH
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Public tours: Not available

Solar Decathlon 2009

Cornell University: Making an Unconventional Choice

Having already competed in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2005 and 2007, the Cornell team knew it wanted to try something different in 2009. The team decided to create a house inspired by the grain silos common to the agricultural communities of upstate New York.

The design of Silo House, a modular structure with three connecting cylindrical rooms, posed challenges for the team and limited the photovoltaic panels that could fit on the roof. However, the team expressed no regrets about its decision to think outside the box after coming in seventh place overall in the competition.

Like Cornell’s two previous Solar Decathlon entries, the 2009 house was sold to a private party. The new owner bought a stone house on two acres of land near Ossipee, New Hampshire, specifically to have a good site for Silo, and the house resides there now.

“I am honored to be entrusted with the Silo House,” owner Tom said in 2017, “the work of 150 Cornell students and countless other faculty and donors that contributed to this masterpiece. Ossipee was my third site for her, a long story ... ‘the road less travelled, and it made all the difference.’ She's become my study and guest house, resting on the outer edges of the Ossipee Ring Caldera, welcomed and cherished. In a year or so, I hope to open this sustainable micro-farm to like-minded folks who might learn as well as share their expertise.”