Daily Dose: ICON Solar House

Add to TwitterStudents of the Institute of Technology, the College of Design and the College of Continuing Education at the University of Minnesota collaborated to design and build the ICON Solar House, a highly energy-efficient, aesthetically-pleasing home. In October of 2009, it took fifth place at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon and is now on sale by the University of Minnesota.

ICON Solar House; Image ©University of Minnesota

The 550 square foot house was designed to have a greater surface area on the southern side of the roof and is angled to capture the most light in the winter. Designs were made according to seasonal data in Minnesota, so if you’re interested in the house, moving it to Florida wouldn’t really be doing it justice! (And the winters here aren’t all the bad… really!) Passive solar heating is maximized with the use of triple glazed windows. These special features have three layers of glass and are coated with film (“electrochromic window tinting”) to prevent heat loss. The film is activated with a simple flick of a switch that sends an electric current through the panes. Strategically placed throughout the house, the windows also allow for the maximum amount of natural light during the day.

ICON Solar House’s walls are also innovative. Instead of regular siding, the home sports a rainscreen wall which helps increase air movement behind the cladding and make for a healthier building and interior.

Interested in buying? The minimum bid is $200,000 – retail value is $550,000. Visit their website to get more details!

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