Solar Decathlon (8)-Team Tennessee-University of Tennessee’s Living Light House


If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).

For this episode of Solar Decathlon of 2011, let’s take you through the Living Light House of University of Tennessee of Knoxville.  Living Light House is a zero energy dwelling, integrating technology seamlessly into the design without the visual clutter of the information age.  Volume and light are key features of this design.  The floor plan frames the open living space into two quarters of public and private areas. The North and South facades provide excellent natural lighting and have operable dual  layering windows with motorized sun-shading blinds mounted between panels.  The public quarter includes kitchen appliances and  can be completely concealed from the public view. This open living space with adaptable furniture can accommodate great variety of household activities.  For example, the exterior table can be moved indoor to seat more people; the entertainment center can  be used as a desk or a  foot-board;the bed can be concealed or pulled out depending on whether it is needed. The private quarter contains bathroom and bedroom elements. Design of Living Light House intends to leave a small footprint;this is seen in its slightly upon the ground construction,  its extensive use of local wood in interior and exterior finish to reduce environmental impact, and the fact that the house is a prefabricated module that can be easily transported to site via trailer (so to reduce energy consumption by eliminating reconstruction of the structure at the site).  The house  has adaptable use of its mechanical system for different seasons and it also takes advantage of its natural ventilation.  The rooftop provides both shade and energy for the house because the tubular structure of array  has integrated PV system for absorbing solar energy and the white roof  of the house reflects light back into  the array for additional energy.  Indoor thermal comfort is preserved by well insulated elements.  Dual layer windows with additional barrier provides additional insulation and cross ventilation when the interior layer is opened.  There are two miniature ductless heating units, available when additional heating is needed.  The overall design of the Living Light House  functions to adapt to nature and its occupants while integrating a simple design principle and observing the need for energy efficiency so to reduce energy dependence on depleting resources.  Now let’s have a look of the Living Light House of University of Tennessee—>


written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,

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