This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Team Massachusetts Brings a Fourth Dimension to the Solar Decathlon
Team Massachusetts is bringing a unique perspective to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 this fall. You might say it is a fourth dimension because of the team's newly constructed 4D Home. But it could also be argued that it is because the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and University of Massachusetts Lowell are collaborating for the team's first entry into the biannual competition, and they're both public institutions.
Team Massachusetts has created a compact, energy-efficient, sustainably designed house built for a family of three with two bedrooms, one bath, a kitchen, dining room, laundry/mechanical room and living room. At 945 square feet, the savvy, highly efficient house is aimed at reinventing the idea of New England architecture. Meanwhile, Team Massachusetts is adding the fourth dimension of "time" to the interior of the house (and in name), taking into account the transitions a family and home go through over the years. By using moving walls for adaptable living spaces, rooms can be opened for family gatherings and the extra bedroom removed once the youth has gone off to college. See the Energy Blog post.