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Solar Decathlon: A sneak peek at the houses

Sept. 9, 2011, 7:07 a.m.
Massachusetts College of Art, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 4D Home

Photo: DOE

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Massachusetts College of Art, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 4D Home

With not one but three New York-area teams vying against Team Massachusetts in the 2011 Solar Decathlon, it will be interesting to see if the (over)heated rivalry between New York and New England carries over to this collegiate solar home-building competition. Red Sox-related melodrama aside, Team Massachusetts' entry, 4D Home, is one fierce contender. Dubbed 4D Home in reference to the fourth dimension (time), this two-bedroom Passive House dwelling geared towards growing families was designed to anticipate change — daily, seasonal, annual and more. The exterior of 4D Home — including asymmetrical timber trellises — is a head-turner, but the real crowd pleaser is what's inside: a treasure trove of hand-crafted furnishings, décor and housewares designed by MassArt students specifically for the competition.