Suburbia –A residential neighborhood that traditional consists of box shaped homes with shingled exteriors, pitched roofs and maybe a white picket fence. These stereotypical homes have endured through time. But suburbia may be forever changing with the new model, CHIP.
Threatening to change what we know as the Suburban landscape this “Compact Hyper-Insulated Prototype,” a new energy efficient home, may in the near future hit the markets.
CHIP was built in West Potomac Park, to compete in the 2011 Solar Decathlon. It is being touted as an affordable energy efficient home. The home was designed by Sci-Arc and Caltech, both California schools.
The CHIP home was the most daring of the competition in that the home insulation was found on the exterior not the interior. This “outsolation” covered with a flexible vinyl membrane is similar to a party tent. The strategy behind this exterior nuance helps regulate interior temperatures necessary for a net-zero house. It also frees up space in the interior, giving homeowners more room and storage space.
CHIP also features a custom IPad application for energy management. In addition it has the ability to hold up to forty-five solar photovoltaic panels on its puffy white roof. According to “Who Turned Out the Lights,” by Scott Bittle and Jean Johnson, Photovoltaic cells is an old technology, invited by Bell labs who discovered that the PV cells could convert sunlight into electricity. The PV cells are most commonly known as solar panels. Visit CHIP’s website http://www.chip2011.com/ to learn more about CHIP and the possibility of living in the futuristic home.
By Sammi Lafer