Eco-homes are taking over the National Mall! Between the Capitol and the Washington Monument, the 2009 Solar Decathlon is in full swing, and solar-powered, sustainable houses are going up like crazy. Team Boston’s Curio House is just one of the runners in this year’s Solar Decathlon, a bi-ennial competition of exclusively solar-powered, efficient, eco-houses taking place in Washington, D.C. Some of these unique $$$ and planet-saving homes are even for sale. Team Boston’s creation, Curio House, just sold for $300,000. The competition ends this Friday, Oct. 16th, so stay tuned for the results!
The houses are judged on ten criteria (hence the ‘decathlon’) including architecture, market viability, engineering, lighting design, communications, comfort zone, hot water, appliances, home entertainment and net metering. To compete, homes must be “attractive and easy to live in, maintain comfortable and healthy indoor enviornmental conditions, feature appealing and adequate lighting, supply energy to household appliances for cooking and cleaning, power home electronics, provide hot water, and balance energy production and consumption,” according to the Solar Decathlon Web site.
About 300 students and professionals from Tufts University and Boston Architectural College collaborated to create Team Boston’s Curio House—a two year project. “We’re feeling top ten, at least,” said Michelle Stadelman, chair of Team Boston’s construction committee.
Curio House is minimalist yet cozy. Clean interior lines made from glass and wood create an immediate, and rare, “I’m home” feeling. A wooden entertainment system with cubed cubbies, wheels out to reveal a semi-private bedroom behind.
The floor to ceiling glass doors and windows are shaded with completely opaque blinds. The space is super livable and comes with its own garden and back porch perfect for parties or relaxing. One of the coolest features is the compact, all in one clothes washer/dryer. Curio House actually produces more energy than it uses.
Solar Decathlon teams choose their market. Curio House is made to be both sustainable AND affordable—Yay! Some competitors chose a richer clientele. Team Germany’s creation goes for over $1 million.
Stay tuned for results announced tomorrow!