The New School was one of twenty teams of colleges and universities competing in the 2011 Solar Decathlon in Washington, DC. Parsons students collaborated with other students within The New School and Stevens Institute of Technology to create a multidisciplinary team of architects, designers, engineer, and management and urban policy students. The project, called Empowerhouse, partnered with both Habitat for Humanity of Washington, DC and the DC Department of Housing and Community Development to design and construct an affordable green housing model that could be adapted and set in the lower income DC community of Deanwood.
After judging on October 1st, house was transported from the National Mall to Deanwood, where will soon become a two-family home. Although Empowerhouse didn’t win the competition, they came in nearly $20,000 under budget, giving the project an estimated cost of approximately $230,000. This combination of affordability and green technology will no doubt influence future Habitat for Humanity projects.
-by Victoria O’Neill-