Sleek. Sexy. Solar. These high-tech houses are state-of-the-art solar, designed and built by college students for the "Solar Decathlon" sponsored by the US Department of Energy. The Solar Decathlon is held every two years to showcase innovative energy-efficient design. Finalists in the Solar Decathlon competition travel to Washington D.C. where they assemble their completely self-powered homes on the National Mall.
The interior of each home is no more than 800 square feet, but porches and and courtyards often create a sense of spaciousness. Using only power from the sun, these small but attractive homes provide enough energy to operate televisions, computers, laundry machines, stoves, heating and cooling units, and other modern-day appliances.