The INhome can be YOURhome

For the past two weeks, I’ve had the pleasure to document and talk to the students of Purdue University who are participating in this year’s Solar Decathalon. The Solar Decathalon is an international competition held every year in Washington, D.C. by the Department of Energy, that “challenges teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.” Purdue finished in an outstanding second place, with University of Maryland beating them by only 20 points.

Purdue had high scores in all categories including affordability, comfort zone, hot water, energy balance, and market appeal, but trailed in architecture. While the judges thought it was lacking in some qualities, the visitors and tourists did not. The house received an incredible amount of positive feedback. To many, it was their favorite house, due to the fact that it looked like an actual midwestern rancher and not “alien or space ship like” as the other houses in the competition were called. And what was even better about the house was that everything used could be purchased at a Home Depot or Loewes, making “becoming green” easy and quite affordable for the average family.

Courtesy of Purdue University

Courtesy of Purdue University

Courtesy of Purdue University

But what really struck me the most was their innovative feature known as “the biowall”. The biowall is a home air filtration system that utilizes plants placed in a vertical wall, which remove harmful chemicals that can accumulate in homes that are tightly sealed like the INhome. Air from the home is drawn through the plant wall where the chemicals are removed by the plants and used as a food source. “The biowall improves the air quality in the home, saves energy, and provides a calming ambiance by bringing nature inside the home.”

Courtesy of Purdue University

Courtesy of Purdue University

Check out the team’s INhome website for more information about their stunning and green house as well as the Solar Decathalon’s site for rankings and images from the competition!




2 thoughts on “The INhome can be YOURhome

  1. Hi Gaby,

    The photos are great, but try to use more hyperlinks next time. Inject a bit more personality into your writing to really make it yours instead of just reporting. Try to come up with a good hook for the beginning. How does the INHOME tie into your readings? What did you learn during this project? Has it changed how you see the future? Nice work as a whole.



  2. Frank Sesno says:

    This is effective in the way you weave pictures and your text. It’s also fun to read first person singular – what you thought, concluded, considered as you visited and studied the house. Writing is crisp and clear; feel free to give it more edge, more attitude while still focusing on the experience. Like the house…and your blog intrigues me more. Good stuff.

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