The energy net-zero SILO home features natural lighting, wide-open spaces, greenery, smart controls and innovative rainwater and wastewater collection systems. The home was designed and built by the Missouri S&T student team and is an entry in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 Solar Decathlon.
In an interview with the Dept. of Energy, S&T design director Jenny Nickel explains SILO was made for a couple looking to downsize and live more sustainably. She said the team wanted to emphasize a smooth transition to sustainable living—by keeping all modern amenities in one compact, clean-energy package.
SILO stands for Smart Innovative Living Oasis. The ‘S’ in SILO stands for Smart. The two-bedroom home boasts voice-automation and smart phone control, connected using Amazon Echo Dots. Donated state-of-the-art BEKO appliances use a third of the energy and water normally occupied by kitchen appliances.
The team drew inspiration from old farmhouses and ‘passive design’— a strategy using natural climate fluxions to maintain a comfortable interior temperature. NanaWalls, a large panel of south-facing windows, integrate the indoors and outdoors by opening entirely. A moveable green wall can slide into place in front of the windows to shade the house during the summer and allow a cross breeze.
Expansive, strategically-placed windows on each side make the SILO home feel much bigger than it actually is (less than 1000 square feet). Clerestory windows are placed along the high ceilings, providing additional light and ventilation. Often, tiny-homes feel cramped, but SILO’s gallery-like living area feels spacious and even features a full-sized kitchen with a bar and island.
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