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ICON Solar House, Minnesota, United States

Thursday 01 Apr 2010

Best not put this home in Seattle

University of Minnesota 
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 6

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30/04/10 steve, perth
Hi Andrew, I'm from Australia, and even I know Seattle has a reputation for rain all the time. PV's would not work so well there.
16/04/10 Auerbach, F.A.I.A., Chevy Chase, MD.
So Desmoines 1 can't spell Title. But does Desmoines 2 know anything about the superficiality of this "Architecture on the Mall"? All a bunch of wasted architectural teaching time. Pitty the students who spend a semester or so doing this penny-anti stuff. I would surrender spelling for better use of students' time.
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13/04/10 Mike, Des Moines, IAA
Andrew in Des Moines should learn to spell title. Mike
13/04/10 James Finnie, Cape Town
Impressive project for a University to put together and it looks slick. Would be nice to see some more facts and figures on the expected energy savings. Hope the new owner monitors savings. My brother lives in Minnesota and needs more space, he would love this.
13/04/10 Andrew, Des Moines
How is this tittle relavent to the article? The reader is left to make assumptions as there is no clarification made in the text. Not an appropriate tittle.
13/04/10 rafael, haifa israel
very interesting solutions i would like to have more details
and prices


rafael almagor


University of Minnesota to sell award-winning solar house 

Here’s a great way to reduce household energy-costs – have a home powered by the sun.

The University of Minnesota is selling the a student-designed home for U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) 2009 Solar Decathlon.

The 550-square-foot home took fifth place out of 20 teams inn October's Solar Decathlon, a DOE-sponsored contest where universities from around the world design and build the most efficient and appealing sun-powered home. Named ICON Solar House due to its classic gabled roof design, the house was designed and built by team from U of M's Institute of Technology, College of Design and College of Continuing Education.

The ICON Solar House has all the comforts of a traditional home along some of the most advanced technology available on the market today.

On the ICON Solar House, the ridge of the roof is pulled towards the north, which expands the surface area on the southern side. At the same time, the ridge is raised so that the solar panel roof is angled perfectly for maximum sun exposure during the winter, when energy demand is at its peak. In Minnesota, located in the north central section of the US, an angle of 35 degrees to 45 degrees is usually considered ideal for solar collection during the winter. Competition rules required a lower roof pitch so the designers used energy modeling software to determine that a roof angle of 28 degrees in addition to a certain amount of surface area on the southern half of the roof would produce the greatest amount of solar energy.

In the ICON Solar House integrated shelving system runs the entire length of the house, incorporating lighting, HVAC ductwork, partitions and doors.

The house a rainscreen instead of siding allows air movement behind the cladding material, helping to draw away moisture from the membrane and plywood sheathing while still allowing the wall to permeate moisture vapor. At the same time, the rainscreen wall meets the aesthetic goals of the house and the project concept, with horizontal slats that have a similar pattern as traditional wood siding.

The minimum bid on the house is $200,000. The house has a retail value of over $550,000 and exceeds all relevant building codes. An allowance of $20,000 will be provided by the university for consulting and assistance in assembling the ICON House on site.

For more information on the purchase process, as well as a sales brochure, go to Interested buyers may also contact Chip Foster at the university’s Purchasing Services at foste048@umn.edu

Jennifer Potash
News Editor

Key Facts

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lucia ortiz architect

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