Students have always been phenomenal at innovation. Whether it is MIT students developing self-driving golf carts or Cal State Pomona students solar powering concerts, the future of technology and energy efficiency looks bright with young innovators.
Recently a new idea has come to light via Clemson University’s first U.S. Solar Decathlon entry: Indigo Pine. Indigo Pine is a home that can be emailed to a location, fabricated locally and then assembled easily.
This CNC-milled plywood home has 3 bedrooms, 1 and a half baths, an open main room, a porch, and is very easily constructed. The plans for the home are emailed to a local CNC machine that then cuts and shapes the nearly 500 pieces needed to construct the home. The pieces are then put together like a large puzzle.
The parts lock together to carry the weight load with tab-in-slot connections. There are no fasteners needed aside from a couple of stainless steel bands only used for stability during the construction process. The only screws are in the floor joists.
Even better, the home is carbon neutral and uses solar panels for electricity as well as the heating of water. Additionally, the walls are capable of having proper insulation as well, which is one of the largest wastes of energy in domestic residences.
It will be exceedingly interesting to see the application for this home as well as what other interesting ideas come out of the Solar Decathlon. If you want to see the prototype you can visit it in Irvine California this month!