Students at the Missouri University of Science and Technology think a home should be flexible and adapt as needed to its owners. For their fifth time competing in the Solar Decathlon, they’ve come up with the Chameleon House, which has a variety of transforming furniture and features that maximize space while minimizing energy use. The solar-powered home and the veteran team will soon compete against 20 other teams in the 2013 Solar Decathlon Competition in Irvine, CA.
Missouri University of Science and Technology has had a team of students competing in the Solar Decathlon competition almost every time except in 2011. The team gets back into the 2013 competition for the fifth time with the Chameleon House. Capitalizing on their strengths and learning from the previous four competition houses, the team has spent a considerable more amount of time during the design phase to reduce complications, mistakes and stress during their construction phase. They settled on a unified architectural concept of “Engineering and Adaptable Environment” to guide them through designs and establish a goal for this latest competition entry.
The simple rectangular layout features an open floor plan kitchen and living space that transitions into the bedroom. Multi-functional furniture and design allows the home to transform according to the needs of the occupants. For instance a kitchen island changes height to be a work area or a table. The murphy bed stows away when more space is needed and a sliding wall can close off private areas from public areas. Automated systems allow for maximum efficiency of energy and water use and solar passive strategies like daylighting, shading and natural ventilation encourage savings. The roof is topped with both a photovoltaic and solar hot water system to create a net zero home.
by: Bridgette Meinhold