Solar Decathlon (19)-Vermont’s Middlebury College’s Self-Reliance Design of 2011


Dear Readers,

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).  Keep in mind that signing this petition only means that you are in favor of renewable energy and FIT/CLEAN Program and does not obligate you to provide any financial support. We simply want our combined voice to be heard even if we are not spending millions of lobbying dollars. We want to demonstrate that our system of democracy will work for people in all socio-economic strata. So please join us in this earthly movement by signing this petition and participating in our common goal of moving toward the renewable and solar energy age.

Today’s Solar Decathlon of 2011 video clip is on Vermont’s Middlebury College’s design Self-Reliance.  Self-Reliance is a sustainable home for a family of four in Vermont. The focus of this design is on sustainability, affordability, use of local material, and the vernacular form creating an American Farmhouse of the 21st century. This is a home of  design for simple construction: a truss system supporting the roof (gable roof easily sheds precipitation and maximizes space), stud walls filled with cellulose , floor made of locally harvested maple wood, triple pane windows optimizing solar exposure while cross ties providing lateral support for the structure, benches and plant beds are part of the organization of the design plan, and solar panels enable Self-Reliance to be a net-zero energy home.  Northern skylights provide passive ventilation and natural light into the center of the house. The South facade receives the sun with large panes of glass and solar panels.  In the exterior of the house, potable and non-potable water are collected and stored in four water tanks. The garden beds and benches in the front creates an extension of the public space. Upon entering the house, there is a transitional space for boots and jackets.  An open public area, used for dining, cooking, working, and socializing, provides a sense of spaciousness.  The Southern wall is a green house that provides food and passive heating  throughout the year. The living space receives even North light and has sustainably produced furniture. Half of the house is used for public space and half of the house is used for private space, with the transition between the two spaces indicated by  the dropped ceiling height.  There is also a full bathroom between the private and public spaces. Both bedrooms have tall ceilings and access to storage in the adjacent low ceilings.  Now, let’s have a look at this almost 1000 sq. ft. farmhouse inspired design of Vermont’s Self-Reliance—->

written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,


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2 Responses to “Solar Decathlon (19)-Vermont’s Middlebury College’s Self-Reliance Design of 2011”

  1. Storage Guy Says:

    Thanks for the short post article words on this. I am wondering (but I think I already know my answer) if storage facility owners.will let you have a “garage sale” out of your unit. Whats your take on this?. -CS.

  2. sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker Says:

    Point taken. I suspect the “storage facility owner” must have been on Florida time or have too many projects going on at the same time.

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