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Solar Decathlon: A sneak peek at the houses

Sept. 9, 2011, 7:07 a.m.
Middlebury College, Self-Reliance

Photo: DOE

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Middlebury College, Self-Reliance

From one of America's greenest colleges comes Self-Reliance, a two-bedroom, farmhouse-style dwelling designed for a family of four that "reflects New England values and responds to the Northeastern climate." Standout eco-features of the gabled home created by the team at Middlebury include triple-paned windows, an energy monitoring system, an interior green wall, a 7.2kW rooftop solar array, an air-to-air heat exchanger and ample communal living space that encourage its residents to "make dinner, do homework, and play a game together." Because after all, what else are you going to do when you're snowed in during the dead of a brutal Vermont winter? We can't imagine a lovelier — and more efficient — place to come down with cabin fever.