Welcome to Purdue's INhome.
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a high-profile international competition held every two years on the National Mall in Washington D.C. that challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered homes that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. While the competitive aspect of the Solar Decathlon is exciting and educational for the student teams, the real goal of the competition is to educate building professionals and the general public about the current innovative products and techniques that are available for sustainable homes. Purdue University’s IN Home takes a realistic, balanced approach to net-zero housing that is certain to have broad appeal. On an annual basis, a net-zero home produces energy with on-site renewable energy sources that is equal to the amount of energy used by the building’s occupants. The IN Home makes use of proven, traditional methods to achieve a net-zero structure, harnessing thermodynamic and solar phenomena to reduce energy demand. The home will be designed to favor natural passive processes over energy intensive mechanical processes. As for aesthetic design considerations, daylighting controls will manage a multi-layer blend of natural and artificial light to illuminate the home dynamically and efficiently. The use of open spaces and universal design principles will create a comfortable, accessible, and entertaining environment for all residents. Furthermore, the home will utilize high ceilings and multi-leveled spaces that will make use of volume, not just area, to stimulate the senses. Throughout the Solar Decathlon project, the Purdue team will spend considerable time on community outreach with the ultimate goal of showcasing the importance of using natural resources intelligently and efficiently to lower human impact. For example, once the Solar Decathlon is over, the IN Home will be displayed at numerous venues and finally placed in a residential community near Purdue’s campus, where it will reach the masses and change commonly held views about sustainable housing. The IN Home’s broad appeal and visionary features make it a small home that is sure to have a big impact.