“Changing Ideas into Sustainable Reality.” This quote is MetalTech-USA’s unique representation of their mission and contribution to economic responsibility. Along with their partners, they are promoting the use of sustainable metal products in building. This philosophy is their drive to be involved with the Solar Decathlon: a biennial international competition for which colleges and universities design and construct solar-powered homes. MetalTech-USA has partnered with Middlebury College for the 2013 Solar Decathlon in Irvine Park, California. This partnership will allow MetalTech-USA to provide their sustainable metal products to Middlebury College, helping them to create an affordable, energy-efficient, and aesthetically appealing home.
“The teams selected for the Solar Decathlon are not just getting an opportunity to try and win an international competition. They are receiving the chance to network with organizations that supply sustainable materials like ourselves, as well as help pave the way towards a more eco-friendly way of life,” VP Architect Liaison Eric Simonsen states.
Middlebury College, established in 1800, is a top ranking liberal arts college located in Vermont. In addition to being a leader on carbon neutrality, Middlebury College also incorporates sustainability throughout their institutional and campus planning. They are committed to researching, engineering, designing, and building towns that can contribute to social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Their commitment to sustainability has not gone unnoticed either. In 2011, Middlebury College became the first undergraduate liberal arts college ever to be selected to participate in the Solar Decathlon. Their 4th place finish in the 2011 competition helped them receive another chance to exceed expectations as they have been selected to participate in the 2013 Solar Decathlon.
Their project for the upcoming competition has been titled ‘In-Fill Home’. This concept represents a home that will adopt and evolve to inspire healthy, resourceful living on underutilized, neglected city properties. As the name suggests, the home will ‘fill-in’ leftover urban spaces. Senior Eric Fender states, “In-Fill Home does not try to reinvent the wheel. Rather, it offers an alternative approach to the widely discussed issue of suburban sprawl and strives to acknowledge the complexity of social, environmental and economic sustainability.”
“We see a house as just one piece of larger human and natural ecosystems. We strive to design a house that embodies the principles of a centralized community that reduces demands on transportation while facilitating greater personal interactions. By realizing the potential of underutilized spaces, we aim to integrate a house into an existing walkable community-to suggest a model of living that is applicable on any scale. With history and nature as our guides, we hope to design a home that reflects a community and a lifestyle for a sustainable society, economy, and environment. “
-2013 Middlebury College Team