Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on July 19, 2008
It’s refreshing to find out there are actually companies being started by those who’ve competed in the Solar Decathlon. I was getting a little tired of just reading about the prototypes and wishing the homes would become more than just expensive experiments.
While there must be other former decathletes taking their prototypes on the road, 2005’s Cornell University team is getting the bulk of the attention. Their company Independence Energy Homes seems to be thriving in a short period of time. IEH is a design and energy consulting firm that’s remodeling homes and creating more zero energy prototypes throughout the world.
Most notably, IEH designed the first of 2,000 planned residences in a new modern village of Akodo Ise, Nigeria, created with a focus on societal benefits. The TechVille Prototype House is run by solar energy and built on a 4,500 square feet of land. The main living quarters are housed within a super insulated tube that can be separated from the rest of the house to minimize the cooling load during the night. The extension of the tube beyond the glazing eliminates direct solar gain while a series of gills bring in appropriate amounts of light and air.
In addition to this awesome project, IEH has created designs here in the States that will weather many environments, sustainable projects like a ski lodge, an urban craftsman home in New Jersey and a modern beach house in Truro, Massachusetts. All use the likes of PV systems, low- to-no-VOC materials, water conserving fixtures, air exchange systems, insulated concrete forms and permeable driveways.
I guess I need to be careful what I wish for. True, these prototypes are no longer just expensive experiments… now they’re expensive housing components.
Check out their site here.