evenDaysVermont tells MHLivingNews two small Vermont schools will be competing against 18 mostly larger schools in the U. S. Dept. of Energy’s biennial Solar Decathlon to be held in October at Irvine, California.
While this will be Norwich University’s first trip to the competition, Middlebury College placed fourth in its first outing in 2011, and its entry is now home to three students each semester on campus.
Norwich’s Delta T-90 will focus on affordability and accessibility, with the longer goal of developing a solar-powered modular home that average Vermonters can afford.
Collaborating with modular home builder Huntington Homes, the team is using local materials when possible for the 1,000 square foot totally solar-powered unit, including regionally-harvested northern white cedar for the exterior walls. The nine-foot ceilings give the feel of a much larger house, and the $150 a square cost makes it affordable for a couple with full-time minimum wage jobs.
The Middlebury team’s modular house is constructed around an internal steel frame with 34 removable floor, roof and wall panels to control shipping costs.
The insulation is blown cellulose (old newspaper treated with a fire retardant, and denim), and the exterior is recycled barn wood. 26 solar panels power the home that costs around $250 a square foot, and the green roof recycles rainwater.
(Image credit: SevenDaysVermont–top: Norwich University’s entry. bottom: Middlebury College’s entry) ##