The isolation of early settlers to the Appalachian Mountains fostered a pioneer spirit in those who established self-sustaining living/working compounds on the frontier. Appalachian State University’s Solar Homestead fuses these values into a net-zero energy home, which remains true to these underlying principles by integrating renewable resources and innovative technology into a prototype that is adaptable, self-sufficient, rugged, affordable, and attractive.
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses 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. The purpose of the Solar Decathlon is to educate student participants and the general public.