THE BLOG
09/29/2011 06:14 pm ET | Updated Nov 29, 2011

On Houses and Homes: Top 5 Stories Behind Solar Decathlon Entries

We build houses, but it's the living in a house that makes it a home. Every home -- even your home -- has a history that represents who lived there and how they lived. The same goes for the houses in Solar Decathlon. While they're lauded for their innovation, they also use their region's rich histories and the natural world to inform construction and design, making these houses homes.

How can we seamlessly incorporate environmental sustainability into houses that remind us of home? All of the Solar Decathlon teams are judged on "Market Appeal," or how well their houses would appeal to their target market -- does it have "curb appeal." So, the teams go to various lengths to incorporate energy savings into the typical American lifestyle, a feat not easily done. We use vast amounts of energy to power our lives.

Planet Forward has been following the Solar Decathlon teams. These are the five that stand out to us that have interwoven cultural values into their super-efficient homes.

Captions by Anthony Cefali

On Houses and Homes: Top 5 Stories Behind Solar Decathlon Entries