Two Bedrooms, One Bath, One-Third Average Annual Energy Use

This video is part of a series of four videos (Walkthrough, Market Appeal, Architecture, and Engineering) submitted to the Department of Energy for the competition. To see the rest of the videos, visit our Planet Forward Ideas page. This video describes the Market Appeal of Self-Reliance, Team Middlebury's Solar Decathlon home. Self-Reliance is the only house in the 2011 Solar Decathlon designed for a family of four, and this feature allows our home to appeal to a broad audience. This summer the Middlebury Solar Decathlon is building a small, 100% solar-powered home that will compete in the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 Competition. The Solar Decathlon is a biennial green-building competition that brings together 20 collegiate teams from all over the country and world to showcase their solar homes on the National Mall in Washington D.C. This competition is one of the most ambitious and inspiring events in the country, as it challenges these teams to demonstrate inventive clean-energy solutions, feature cost-effective and energy-efficient construction, and incorporate energy-saving appliances and renewable energy systems within their 100% solar-powered homes. Team Middlebury’s home, “Self-Reliance,” strives to do all this as it reinvents the iconic New England Farmhouse, integrating today’s efficient technologies into a home for a Vermont family of four. It is our belief that living sustainably can be facilitated by beautiful, comfortable, and practical design. When architecture and technology are used wisely together to utilize the power of the sun and other renewable energy resources, our impact on this earth is greatly reduced. As we construct our solar-powered home this summer we hope to offer a sustainable solution to life in the 21st century. We invite you to follow our construction progress over the next 12 weeks via the weekly videos we will be posting with Planet Forward. It is our hope to extend this learning opportunity to a greater community beyond Middlebury, and inspire others to turn to sustainable design practices as well. Please stay tuned! For more information about the Middlebury Solar Decathlon team, please visit

Visit the Solar Decathlon Category Page!

Looking to keep track of Team Middlebury?

Click here to view the previous idea submission from Middlebury's Solar Decathlon team. For access to the entire archive of Middlebury Solar Decathlon 2011 videos: Visit the Member Page

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