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Innovation Is Good – Practical Is Perfect

image of solar decathlon winner CHIP
The Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011 winning design is going on display in California. The “CHIP” had its ribbon cutting Tuesday, January 17th in downtown Los Angeles. You can learn about this innovative solar house of the future here. It’s an amazing structure although the $300,000 price tag might be a tough sell for an odd-looking 750 square foot dwelling in today’s contracted real estate market.

The Decathlon is an important vehicle designed to get college and university students thinking about energy saving innovative ideas. We applaud this effort but also like to always keep a foot in the practical side in the race to saving energy. It’s kind of like those cars of the future that always seem to stay in the future. If it’s not practical and affordable to the average consumer the innovation will ultimately remain unattainable on a mass scale.

We reported on the competition here at the Greenest Insulation Blog last year (read the post.) CIMA member National Fiber was a co-sponsor of the small liberal arts school Middlebury College who walked away with an honorable mention. This was no easy feat going up against some of the most prestigious engineering and design schools in the world. We were inspired by their approach to achieve energy savings through solar energy coupled with lower carbon products such as cellulose insulation that are readily available today.

Innovation is always good and in time it leads to great changes that improve mankind. But usually it takes practical thinking and application to make our world go round day-to-day. Somewhere between Middlebury and L.A. there is a place for solar housing in America.