Team Capitol DC was represented by students from The Catholic University of America, George Washington University, and American University at the US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2013 in Irvine, California. The theme of their home is healing for spirit and body. The home has been donated to Wounded Warrior Homes and will be placed in a climate similar to that of Irvine. The veterans organization will accommodate a veteran who desires to live HARVEST HOME‘s philosophy of wellness and healing. By Amber Archangel
Harvest Table at HARVEST HOME by Team Capitol DC. | Photo credit: Amber Archangel | The herbs are bent over and the water is turned off because the Santa Anna winds were blowing through the Solar Village.
This home is beautifully designed to offer a full-life way of living to the person lucky enough to live there. One of the special features of the HARVEST HOME is the beautiful hand-crafted Harvest Table. You can see it in the video and in the photos. The students remarked that people were offering amazing amounts of cash to buy the table!
Screen view from the video
HARVEST HOME is a habitat for renewal and regeneration, the house features sophisticated control and biomedical systems to serve returning U.S. military veterans and help them adjust and flourish in a sustainable civilian community, reports Solar Decathlon.Gov.
HARVEST HOME is an ecologically responsible house that harvests and replenishes natural resources to forge a deep-rooted connection with the natural environment. A habitat for renewal and regeneration, the house features sophisticated control and biomedical systems to serve returning U.S. military veterans and help them adjust and flourish in a sustainable civilian community.
Harvest Table is self-watering with collected rainwater. The flip of a switch circulates water from the cistern that stores the home’s greywater. Water runs the length of the table and returns to the very cool storage tank. Herbs, lettuce and flowers grow along the sides of the water display. You can sit at the table and “pick” your salad.
Team Capitol DC’s Harvest Table with the water running. | Photo credit: Michael Batori
From Solar Decathlon.Gov: Features of Harvest Home
- Reclaimed and recycled materials compose the wall framing, exterior decking, rain screen, interior flooring, and furniture.
- Integrated landscaping balances edible and native plants and blurs the interior and exterior environments to create a healthy and beautiful space.
- Careful attention to natural ventilation enables the house to capture breezes, creating a comfortable environment with abundant fresh air.
- A greywater collection system harvests rainwater and reuses it for landscaping to nurture the edible garden.
- Through a distributed network of activity sensors, the biomedical suite takes measurements unobtrusively to provide physical-therapy data and analyze the living habits of the homeowner.
- PV and flat-plate solar thermal systems produce electricity for the house and heat the domestic hot water.
- A unique under-floor heating and cooling distribution system supplies air at floor-level from ductwork connected to a central air handler located in the mechanical closet, allowing less stale air to be mixed with the fresh air and enabling the air handler to work more efficiently.
- An interactive and adaptable shading screen on the large southern glazed façade passively improves energy performance in response to the exterior climate conditions.
- The smart home management system not only monitors and tracks the energy used and saved but also adapts to the occupant’s lifestyle—with minimal effort on the occupant’s behalf.
HARVEST HOME is rooted in humanistic, scientific, and spiritual values. The house is designed to calm the mind, body, and spirit through the use of public and private spaces, multiple decks, and rich landscaping. By fostering interaction with the house’s energy systems and edible garden, Team Capitol DC’s HARVEST HOME promotes a greater appreciation of life, personal strength, and recognition of new life possibilities.