U-M students in national competition building home of the future
House of the Future: “University of Michigan architecture senior Jim Kumon is sure he’s part of a team building a house of the future, the kind that will likely become the norm as his young career progresses.
Starting this month, Kumon and a team of more than 50 students are building a 700-square-foot solar-powered house using commonly available materials that can handle the basic power needs of a small home as well as a small car. By fall, they’ll have to move it to the mall in Washington, D.C. and re-assemble the whole thing in four days and make it all work.”
“We wouldn’t want people to say ‘That’s a neat idea but I wouldn’t want to live there,’” Kumon said. “This is the type of building that will become the standard. It’s just a better way to build. We have a passion about this because it’s a student-led effort.”
The Michigan Solar House Project, or MiSo, is U-M’s entry as one of 18 competitors in a national solar house contest sponsored by the U.S. Energy Department [2005 Solar Decathalon]. They’ll be tested on this, not in the sunny days of summer, but in October when sunny skies are harder to come by. And at the end of the weeklong contest, each team is required to have more energy stored up than they had when they started. The prize is a trophy and bragging rights.”
The Solar Decathalon is a great competition. The houses have to be moved to the Washington Mall, re-assembled and be powered for 1 week.