### inhabitat.com 09/24/11
Team New Zealand’s Solar Decathlon House Puts an Innovative Twist on the Basics
By Amanda Coen
This year’s Solar Decathlon home design competition saw many fresh takes on the solar-powered prefab home, but Team New Zealand stood out from the pack with its elegant, light-filled, wood clad home. Built by students from the Victoria University of Wellington, the beach house inspired First Light home has a breezy, open feel with the invigorating smell of freshly cut cedar planks emanating throughout. This seemingly basic but surprisingly innovative house is currently on display at the 2011 Solar Decathlon competition on the National Mall in Washington DC.
Several unique features set the house apart from the rest. Inspired by the traditional New Zealand holiday home, the “Kiwi bach”, socialising and a relationship with nature were of prime importance in the design process. The front and back bi-folding doors allow for plenty of natural light to enter. An overhanging roof provides ample shade on hot days while also adding protection when the doors are open, creating a seamless unification of the interior and exterior environments.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr