By: Leigha Dickens, Deltec Homes Green Building Coordinator

At Deltec Homes, we continue to take Green Building seriously and are taking innovative steps! As of late September, we have signed an agreement with Appalachian State University (ASU) to manufacture the Solar Homestead–a net-zero, and yes, square home designed by professors and students in ASU’s Building Technology department.

The Solar Homestead was one of twenty home designs selected to compete on the national mall in Washington DC as part of the 2011 US Solar Decathlon—an honor given to only twenty universities across the entire world every two years. The homes in the Solar Decathlon compete on a variety of fronts, from how well their renewable energy technology works to their architecture to how livable they feel, and how affordable they are to build. The Solar Homestead won the People’s Choice Award. Deltec Homes can now bring the Solar Homestead—the next generation in green building—to the customer. While this home is not a round home, it fits perfectly within our net-zero home design philosophy—a home that produces as much energy as it consumes with on-site solar energy, using an extremely energy efficient building shell to get there. We officially launched this product during our recent participation at the Mother Earth News fair in Pennsylvania. Joseph Schlenk, Director of Sales and Marketing comments, “Interest in The Solar Homestead is high among home builders who want to dramatically reduce their impact on the environment while living in a cutting-edge home.” Through our agreement with Appalachian, royalties from Solar Homestead sales will go to support the Department of Technology and Environmental Design’s next large-scale, sustainable design-build project and other research and creative activities at the university.

What would it be like to live in the Solar Homestead? The Solar Homestead comes in a 2- or 3- bedroom floor plan with optional “outbuilding modules” for additional living and storage space, all arranged around a large “grand porch” that connects the occupants to nature. The canopy covering this spacious outdoor living space can be outfitted with translucent solar panels to produce electricity. Chad Everhart, Associate Professor, ASU Department of Technology and Environmental Design, describes the design, inspired by the traditional homesteads of early mountain settlers, as “a house people can grow into, and add on to at a later date.”
As the Green Building Coordinator at Deltec, this is one of the most exciting projects I have had the privilege of working on. I see a clear trend in green building as more and more conscientious home buyers want to build a house in a way that fully incorporates the technology we have available today to tread as lightly on the earth as we can. It’s now possible to make your net-zero living goals a reality.

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  1. melba king on April 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Information re student planned noted on Wild South web site..