Solar Decathlon 2011
Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University's Solar Homestead won the coveted People's Choice Award at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. But that's not all. It also took home second place in the Communications Contest and third place in the Architecture Contest. Upon returning home to Boone, North Carolina, the Solar Homestead became commercially available for purchase through Deltec Homes, an Asheville, North Carolina, builder.
The original Solar Homestead was an 833-ft2 house that embodied the look and feel of traditional homesteads in the Blue Ridge Mountains, evoking independence and ingenuity. In December 2013, that house was sold by the university at auction for $15,000 to the only bidder, an Ashe County resident. The money raised by the sale was dedicated to the university’s Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 team.
Deltec's commercial design draws upon those same characteristics while offering a little more room—1,032 ft2 of living space in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom floor plan. Rather than being constructed in modules like those transported to the National Mall for assembly at the 2011 competition, Deltec's version incorporates a panelized building system that will be constructed at Deltec's facility and then shipped to the home site for assembly.
Through an agreement with Appalachian State University, Deltec Homes will pay royalties that support innovation at the university's Department of Technology and Environmental Design.