The SILO house was conceived as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s biennial competition Solar Decathlon, which challenges collegiate teams to design and build solar-powered houses.
Designed for empty nesters by students of the Missouri University of Science and Technology, SILO, or Smart Innovative Living Oasis, is a self-sustaining, net-zero home that takes cues from farmhouse architecture but is anything but traditional.
For one, it’s an automated dwelling that employs “a system of devices that work in tandem to create a more energy efficient home, while removing the need to worry about how one device interacts with another,” according to the team website.
This means that, for example, homeowners can leave the HVAC and lighting systems to the house itself, without having to worry about how much power the house needs.
There’s also an energy-monitoring system that manages the home’s stored battery power, even allowing excess energy generated by rooftop solar panels to be sold back to the grid. And it goes without saying that the systems are voice-activated.
But SILO’s most enticing aspect might be the house itself. Spacious, bright, airy, greenery-filled, and modern, it’s high-tech without sacrificing creature comforts. Additional elements include a graywater and rainwater collection system. To learn more, head on over to Inhabitat.