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Designed to be a duplex in an existing neighborhood, the home features a prominent front porch and a light tower.


The light, bright kitchen faces the back of the house and its kitchen garden.


 


Even the team’s handout was light on resource use and uniquely recyclable. A postcard, it maps the route between West Potomac Park and the Empowerhouse’s final and permanent destination in D.C.’s Deanwood neighborhood, east of the Anacostia River. The postcard itself, studded with basil, parsley and chive seeds is to be planted under a thin layer of soil and watered daily until seedlings are established.


At 850 sq. ft., Empowerhouse was well under Decathlon V’s limit on conditioned-space to 1,000 sq. ft. The team tied for first in affordability at estimated costs of under $230,000, cited as a good design for its intended real-world environment. Lakiya Culley and her three children will be living in their Habitat for Humanity home once it reaches Deanwood. A second unit will be built next door, to create a duplex that will then be certified passive.


With this end in mind, the team sought a contemporary design able to integrate with an existing neighborhood. They focused on the front elevation. “The front porch has historically been an integral part of American culture, “ they explain in their literature, “and that tradition is still thriving today in Deanwood.”


A back porch looks towards the garden, which students hope the family will use to grow some of their own food.


Empowerhouse also sports a 4.2 kW solar array (one of Decathlon V’s smaller PV systems) expected to “eliminate electricity bills for the Culley family.” For comparison, affordability second-place winner Purdue’s 984-sq.-ft. home uses a 9 kW system.


 


GREEN FEATURES
> PV Panels. 4.2 kW system, among the smallest at Decathlon V, provides net-zero energy use for a family in Washington, D.C.
> Stair Loft Skylight. A large skylight passes light into the building from a stair loft.
> Wall System. 12” engineered wood I-joists plus blown-in celluloses, sandwiched between sheathing panels create a sturdy R-40-plus wall.


39 www.greenbuildermag.com 01.2012

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