“If it is asserted that civilization is a real advance in the condition of man – and I think it is, though only the wise improve their advantages, it must be shown that it has produced better dwellings without making them more costly; and the cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”
–Henry David Thoreau
The Norwich University ∆T90 team recognizes a housing crisis in New England. In 2010, approximately 47% of renters, and 38% of Vermont homeowners paid more than one-third of their income for housing. Close to a third of Vermont’s existing housing stock was built prior to 1950 with inadequate insulation, inefficient heating systems, and sub-standard window and door assemblies. Leaky construction combined with severe winter cold and high fuel costs force many Vermonters to pay annual energy costs that approach or equal their existing mortgage costs.
The ∆T90 team believes that high performance solar powered dwellings should be accessible to all and that good design is not a function of cost. We are confronting the issues related to high performance and affordability for New England by taking an unapologetic design position that is driven by performance criteria, building science, and time honored architectural maneuvers. Our team is committed to providing a hammer-ready, widely accessible solution for New England’s unique challenges.
During Solar Decathlon 2013, Norwich University will present a 1000 square foot, two-bedroom home that is tuned for the unique seasons of the northeastern bioregion. Our goal in the competition is to exhibit a home that demonstrates a significantly better cost-to-performance ratio and raises the higher standard of what to expect from a high performance affordable home.