The Compact Hyper-Insulated Prototype (CHIP) features a quilted exterior, which is supposed to resemble a spacesuit both in performance and aesthetics, where insulation is stretched around the frame rather than stuffed inside it. The 750-square-foot, net-zero home took two years, more than 100 students and $1 million to build. It would cost $300,000 to replicate the structure, including materials and labor, BusinessWire reported.
CHIP’s solar panels can generate three times more electricity than what a home would use. It can power two electric cars in addition to the lighting, appliances, and heating and cooling systems.
It won first place in the energy balance contest at the U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored Solar Decathlon competition in September 2011.
The house will be open to the public for free tours through May 31, 2012, giving Science Center visitors the opportunity to explore CHIP both inside and out. Tours will be available weekdays from 10am to 1:30pm, and weekends from 10am to 4pm.After a stormy day, SCI-Arc/Caltech shines brightly at night on Friday, Sept. 23, 2011 at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon at West Potomac Park in Washington D.C., Sept. 23, 2011.
Photo Credit: SCI-Arc/Caltech at Night, Stefano Paltera, Dept of Energy Solar Decathlon, under Flickr Creative Commons license
(After a stormy day, SCI-Arc/Caltech shines brightly at night on Friday, Sept. 23, 2011 at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon at West Potomac Park in Washington D.C., Sept. 23, 2011.)