Friday, July 10, 2009

Zero Energy Homes on Display in Minnesota

In Sweden, there was a lot of talk about zero-energy (and even energy-producing!) homes. But you don't have to travel overseas to learn what exactly a zero energy house looks like - in August and September two eco-friendly homes will be viewable right here in Minnesota.
2008 Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair, photo by Charles Bevier
One of the homes will be featured in the Progress Center at the fourth annual Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair August 27-September 7, 2009. The Eco Experience is put on by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and focuses on holistic sustainable living. The Eco Home is currently under construction and has a goal of being carbon-neutral. Some of the features include solar panels, stormwater management, geothermal heating and cooling, electric appliances, and a carport instead of a garage. Although the home will be 4-bedrooms and 2,200 sq.ft. and have a bigger footprint than previous years, it is being designed to be net-zero energy based on "typical" living practices and should fit on a typical 50' city lot. Besides the Eco Home, the Eco Experience will also display other green products and services, showcase the U of M's solar car that recently won a 850 mile race, and offer local healthy food options such as caprese salad on a stick!

Winner of 2007 Solar Decathlon, Technische Universit├Ąt Darmstadt

The Solar Decathlon ICON House will be on display in August. The ICON house is being designed, engineered, and constructed by the University of Minnesota's Solar Decathlon Team to be Zero Energy and completely powered by the sun. It is currently under construction at the ReUse Center and was designed with architectural features that blend easily into a residential neighborhood. It is being designed using a whole systems design approach, life-cycle focused sustainability, and with the Minnesota climate in mind - see some of the solar components and design aspects here. In October, the ICON house will compete against 19 other Decathlon Teams in Washington, DC for the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar house. Images and plans of the house will be on display at the University of Minnesota's Exhibit at the State Fair on Dan Patch Avenue and Underwood street August 30th and 31st. The house will be on display at the East Bank of the University of Minnesota in August and near the Equine Center on the Saint Paul campus during the State Fair. Buses to the Equine Center and the Eco Experience are currently being arranged. Stay tuned for further updates!

1 comment:

Home Improvement said...

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