GreenSource Magazine Names Empowerhouse a “Best Green House”

Empowerhouse Dedication_WASHINGTON, D.C., December 4, 2012

The GreenSource Magazine of Sustainable Design recently ran an article naming Empowerhouse one of the “Best Green Houses”.

In 2011, students from Parsons School of Constructed Environments, Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at the New School, and the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey worked on a project called Empowerhouse, a sustainable design for a two-family home. It was ranked number one in the competition.

The Solar Decathlon takes place every two years in Washington DC. Teams from many universities across America create sustainably designed building proposals.

Typically Solar Decathlon designs are used as models for research. However, students and faculty designed Empowerhouse to be inhabited by low-income families in the D.C. area. The group worked with the D.C. Habitat for Humanity office in and the D. C. Department of Housing and Community Development to determine the best area for the home to be built and it was decided that the house be built in Deanwood.

The group worked to create an affordable and efficient design using Passive-House techniques. The house includes solar panels, 12 inches of cellulose insulation, and high-performance windows and doors. Empowerhouse also employs a number of systems to regulate its energy use, including a water heater that uses heat from the dryer’s exhaust.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Empowerhouse took place last December and two families will soon move in. The D.C. Habitat For Humanity Office is currently working on six additional local homes that adhere to Passive House Standards.

Click here to view the article.