Solar Homestead hits market
by Anna Oakes
The home was ASU’s entry in the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy’s international Solar Decathlon home design and construction competition featuring 20 teams from around the world. The Solar Homestead received the competition’s People’s Choice Award.
A team of ASU students from multiple disciplines spent two years designing and building the entry for competition, which took place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The home was required to be appraised at about $220,000.
Deltec Homes was among several corporate sponsors of the ASU Solar Decathlon team, “providing expertise and access to our manufacturing plant, where the students used our panelized construction process to build their wall panels,” according to the homebuilder’s website.
Through an agreement with ASU, Deltec Homes will market and manufacture the copyrighted Solar Homestead design and pay royalties that support ASU’s Department of Technology and Environmental Design’s “next large-scale, sustainable design-build project and other research and creative activities,” according to a statement from the company.
“This is a great example of our department working with local industry to bring sustainable solutions to the people of North Carolina and beyond. It is a great step forward, bringing energy-efficient housing to a large consumer base,” said Jamie Russell, ASU assistant professor in the Department of Technology and Environmental Design, in a statement. “The licensing agreement also validates the many hours of dedication and hard work of students and faculty that went into the Solar Homestead project.”
The Solar Homestead package is offered as a two- or three-bedroom design. The Main House package features 1,032 square feet of living space in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom arrangement, with renewable resource materials, passive solar design that utilizes the sun’s energy, “super-insulated” walls, a solar hot water kit and fresh air exchange system and climate-specific high efficiency heating and cooling system design.
The package also has an optional storage outbuilding and an optional flexible outbuilding, which can be used as a third bedroom or home office. The home’s solar canopy can come with double-sided solar panels or without the panels for homeowners who want to install them later.
Speaking from the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pa., on Friday, Joe Schlenk, director of sales and marketing for Deltec, said Solar Homestead brochures were going fast.
Deltec Homes President Steve Linton said the turnkey price for a two-bedroom configuration is about $225,000, which includes a slab foundation and site work. The three-bedroom turnkey price is about $275,000.
“Today was really our first experience in talking to customers and really even showing this to customers,” said Linton, who also traveled to the Mother Earth News Fair. “A lot of people are really excited to see something new, something innovative. I probably talked to 100 people today about the Solar Homestead — every one of them were simply fascinated by the story.”
Russell said ASU hopes to enter the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe in France with a new design.
The competition has yet to release the request for proposals, he said.
As for the original Solar Homestead, it remains at the building ASU rented as the Solar Decathlon headquarters on East King Street in Boone. Plans for the building are still uncertain.
Russell said “the ideal location would be on campus” to easily facilitate tours of the home for campus visitors.