INhome is one design green builders will happily build over and over again because INhome can hide in plain site in almost any U.S. neighborhood. In fact, INhome has already relocated to an existing Lafayette, Ind. neighborhood.
Purdue designed and built a deliberately Midwestern home. Visitors liked its “normal look;” but it tied for last in Architecture. This team sought to maximize "usable square footage while minimizing energy use" with a 984-square-foot home targeting buyers who want to live green without flaunting their green creds. It was one of seven successful net-zero homes. INhome also ranked fourth in Market Appeal, meaning judges found it livable, marketable and buildable. The only entrant with a garage, this unique amenity's added cost likely kept Purdue from sharing top-affordability honors with Parsons NS Stevens and Team Belgium, both of which sported estimated construction costs under $250,000.
“Purdue’s use of a traditional design and construction approach demonstrated high tech energy and control systems for a sophisticated yet conventional market," said Affordability Juror Matt Hansen, partner at Licata Hansen Associates Architecture, Reno, Nev. "The general public would not perceive it as a solar home,”
The design includes a 1,086 square foot wrap-around porch and clerestory windows. The porch helps minimize the visual impact of the three dozen 240-watt mono-crystalline photovoltaic panels (9kW system). Those clerestory windows both ventilate and illuminate the two-bedroom home. A 19 SEER heat pump cools the home when needed. The water heater heat-pump uses much less electricity than a typical water heater.
The living area biowall, deploys vertical greenery like philodendron, set in a niche, to naturally filter air of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde and benzene.
INhome's estimated construction cost is just under $260,000, including its large porch decks and garage - not much above the two entries that captured first place in affordability - because they had estimated construction costs less than $250,000 (the cut off amount to be considered affordable). The home's key eco-friendly feature is a technology that's been around for decades: structural insulated panels. Because of the use of those panels, INhome is designed to be constructed in six self-contained sections, either on or off site, and can reportedly be assembled in a single day.
For more coverage of Solar Decathlon V, click here.