The Appalachian State U. entry in the 2011 Solar Decathlon is now available commercially. (Photos by Jim Tetro, U.S. Department of Energy)
In what is almost certainly a first, the modular sustainable house that Appalachian State University students designed and entered in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2011 Solar Decathlon is now being marketed nationwide. The house, which won the People’s Choice award at the decathlon, is available from Deltec Homes either in kit form or, for customers in western North Carolina, as a finished building.
Until now, decathlon houses have wowed visitors and drawn praise from architects, but their commercial impact has been limited. But clearly Deltec officials see promise in the Appalachian State house, which can be easily expanded by adding more modules along the length of a porch that supports solar panels to provide power. For buyers seeking to save on upfront costs, the porch is also available with a conventional roof that can later be replaced with solar panels as money becomes available.
As displayed at the decathlon, the house had 864 square feet of indoor space, with two bedrooms and a living-kitchen-dining space. A separate 120-square-foot module with a half bath could be used as an office, a studio, or another bedroom. The house’s solar panels produced 8.2 kilowatts of power.