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  • 09.30.13

5 Inspiring Solar-Powered Homes, Designed And Built By Students

One splits into two pieces to let the warm weather in. Another is designed to house veterans. All are a testament to the creativity that arises when young people brainstorm about sustainability.

The Solar Decathlon–the U.S. Department of Energy’s biennial solar home-building jamboree–kicks off shortly in Irvine, California. We’ve covered a few of the 20 homes already, including entries from Stanford University and the Stevens Institute of Technology.

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In this slide show, you can take a peak at the other schools’ inspiring designs.

There’s the “Phoenix”, a home that can be quickly fabricated in the wake of a disaster, courtesy of the University of Louisville, Ball State University, and the University of Kentucky. One house from Team Capitol DC (Catholic University of America, George Washington University, and American University) is intended to help returning military veterans “adjust and flourish in a sustainable civilian community.” And there’s the building from Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology, which literally splits apart to let the outdoors inside the living room on warm days.


All the houses generate their power from solar panels, and meet criteria related to affordability, home entertainment, and other factors. The teams are currently heading to California, ahead of the contest launch on October 3. Find out more about them here.

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.

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