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Parsons Solar Decathlon



EMPOWERHOUSE is an affordable, netzero house that addresses sustainability and health issues. The Empowerhouse team, a collective of students from two universities including Whitney, designed and constructed a solar-powered house exhibited on the National Mall in the U.S. DOE 2011 Solar Decathlon.


The house was built with sustainable materials and porch connections to gardens and the street yet maintains its affordability. Winning the affordability contest at the solar decathlon, it only costs $132,000 to build. Whitney was responsible for a liveable design while ensuring it met strict criteria for performance and sustainability with its materials and systems.


After the Solar Decathlon competition, the house moved to the D.C. neighborhood of Deanwood, where it became a two-story duplex for two families selected by Habitat for Humanity. It was completed in fall 2012.

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