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Solar Decathlon: A sneak peek at the houses

By: Matt Hickman on Sept. 9, 2011, 7:07 a.m.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Re_home

Photo: DOE

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Re_home

Speed is key to the design of Re_home, the work of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The home is designed to bring comfort, stability and eco-awareness to families affected by natural disasters. Consisting of two modules and a flat roof with a pre-installed 7.2kW solar array to be positioned later for optimum sun exposure, Re_home can be assembled in a matter of hours after being deployed via trailer, posthaste, to a family displaced by Mother Nature's fury. This smartly designed, 978-square-foot abode is affordable ($250,000), flexible (it can transition between a one- and two-bedroom home) and built to stand strong against any future natural disasters. We particularly like the extensive use of reclaimed and recycled materials in the home including recycled steel canopies, siding made from recycled corn husks and decking and planters crafted with wood salvaged from a 19th century grain elevator and a fence.