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Solar Decathlon: A sneak peek at the houses

By: Matt Hickman on Sept. 9, 2011, 7:07 a.m.
Parsons the New School for Design, Stevens Institute of Technology, Milano the New School for Management and Urban Policy, Empowerhouse

Photo: DOE

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Team Parsons/Stevens/Milano, Empowerhouse

While many of the homes competing in the Solar Decathlon live on post-competition as private homes after being disassembled on the National Mall, shipped back to wherever they came from and then rebuilt, Empowerhouse, the creation of three New York-area colleges (Parsons the New School for Design, Stevens Institute of Technology and Milano the New School for Management and Urban Policy) in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity Washington D.C. and the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development, will go on to become something special. Post-Decathlon, the 1,000-square-foot competing home will be moved to Washington, D.C.'s green-minded Deanwood neighborhood where it will be combined with another structure to become a 2,700-square-foot, two-family home, "a model for affordable, net-zero housing that can be replicated around the globe" and Habitat for Humanity’s first ever Passive House. To complement the actual building project, Team Parsons/Stevens/Milano has been active in fostering community involvement in Deanwood though a serious of workshops and neighborhood greening initiatives.