Project Highlight: 2017 Solar Decathalon

Project Highlight: 2017 Solar Decathalon

Project Highlight: 2017 Solar Decathalon

Last year Bridger Steel partnered with the University of California, Davis to complete their design with our Vintage7/8" Corrugated Metal Siding. I was able to attend the event and see the home first hand as well as take a tour to hear about what the concept was behind the design.

While walking up to the home the first thing that caught my eye was the dark, corrugated metal siding that was partnered with Natural Bamboo boards. I always thought dark or black siding on a home would be more fit for a Halloween Horror movie but as it turns out, this was inviting and warm. In addition to its emphasis on water conservation the team chose an industrial modern-rustic design. The hope was that it evoked both the urban and rural ways of life in California. While on tour of the home they pointed out that the “urban vs. rural” dilemma is often at the center of discussions about water in the state.

With over thirteen teams competing from the Netherlands to Daytona Beach, FL it was interesting to see what the newest trends in home design are and how our youth is trying to impact our future. Each University-led team designed, built and operated the competitions solar-powered houses. UC Davis designed their house as a response to the terrible drought that has continued to plague California in recent years and prepare residents for the inevitable drought in the future. During the tour they identified how they dramatically reduced potable water use and proposed sustainable resource conservation as the shared goal of the house, its future occupants and the surrounding community.

Not only did the home showcase its water-conserving solutions but it also boasted a reconfigurable open floor plan and a versatile trailer-mounted building structure that is suitable for both urban and rural locations. It is designed to be a “green home” so its target buyers can actually afford it! Some of the technology was over my head but one of the things I loved seeing was the motion-triggered recessed LED floor lighting which not only was modern but a cost-conservative touch!

UC Davis’s design targeted the real estate markets of Sacramento and rural counties such as Yolo County. Sacramento is currently ground zero for the implementation of recent legislation focused on increasing water and energy efficiency standards. UC Davis, a public university has been ranked the most sustainable university in the world! Going forward the house will act as a platform to test and optimize new and experimental home technologies and will be featured for future tours and events.

Seeing what options are out there to create a more sustainable home was an eye-opening experience. Knowing that you could still create an incredible home full of tasteful touches that would save you a significant amount of money with an affordable price tag was even better. How are you going to incorporate sustainability into your future home? What are some things you are going to do to your current home to reduce your carbon footprint?

I look forward to seeing what the Solar Decathlon has in store for us in 2018 and will be sure to share my findings with you then! In the meantime, be sure to send us your eco-friendly design ideas. 

Mar 6th 2018 Katelyn Furtney

Recent Posts