An embodiment of MIT Solar VII
The MIT solar home recognizes the interdependence of our society and seeks to show how the future home exists as part of a larger energy web. We also recognize that to positively impact the residential energy sector, the MIT solar home (the 7th in a series at MIT) must appeal to a large segment of the US population both aesthetically and practically. We seek to design a house that integrates passive thermal technologies with active controls and solar collectors in order to control the energy flows to and from the house with a minimum of resident intervention. We also recognize that discretionary energy usage by the consumer drives many of the spikes in energy usage across the US. Therefore, we will integrate the latest in energy efficient technologies with a pervasive but non-intrusive means for the consumer to view their energy usage within the context of the house and of the larger grid.


The MIT solar home will demonstrate the attractiveness and affordability of a solar home to the average consumer while empowering each citizen to positively impact our energy society by providing non-intrusive but pervasive means to monitor energy usage within the home and its related environment.


1 To design and build marketable, affordable and environmentally sound housing for the average-income house consumer for an urban setting at a sustainable density.

2 To create a pervasive means to display energy flows, and usage in a non-intrusive manner that allows the resident to make informed decisions while minimizing the amount of user intervention required.

3 That the house should be capable of being deployed at a larger scale, both as a larger housing unit and in the development of a community.

4 That the design is a delight for the consumer, combining good design, adaptability and flexibility with a great place in which to live.

5 The house will be a demonstration of the innovation application and the value of passive thermal technologies with renewable energy.

6 The house will be designed to the Massachusetts climate but capable of being adapted to other climatic conditions through its responsive technologies and design.

7 The house will maximize the use of materials and assemblies that deploy recycled or recyclable materials as a part of the waste stream. It will also profile the total energy profile of the house having regard to the ecology of materials and products.

Department of Energy
National Renewable Energy Laboratory Solar Decathlon