Summer Scene: First Look at InSite

Nearly 100 Middlebury students  had a hand in planning, designing, and building InSite, the college’s entry in the 2013 Solar Decathlon competition. This weekend the public will get their first look at the results of all that work as the team hosts an open house in their newly finished home before they ship it out to California. We met with some of the team leaders this week for a sneak preview.

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  1. Wow–that looks like a sweet place! Love the window seat, deck, counters, SINK, etc.

  2. Go TEAM!! We are so proud of all of you. Pete ’62 and Jane ’63 Johnson

  3. Midd sd13: Terrific! Our campus is so proud of you. Congratulations on this effort, and of course best of luck disassembling, packing, shipping, reassembling, and showing this beautiful home. You are a remarkable team. RL

  4. As an alum of the Solar Decathlon for the University of Michigan (2005 and Midd ’97)), I was absolutely floored by the last house! I have no doubt that this one will be just as stellar! Good job team!

  5. Another compelling story….This is a practical educational component that serves as a bridge to green collar jobs and life after Midd. In our experience the students involved with SD have differentiated themselves as leaders, practical thinkers and team players! And the efforts brings continued recognition to the College!

  6. All I can say is “WOW– CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU ALL! ” From what I can see of the design it reflects the simplicity and practicality I would hope for in a Vermont home. It has a true sense of place.
    Allow yourselves the right to bask in the glory of your success–you deserve it!

  7. Simply marvelous. Look what a little college with people with imagination out in the middle of nowhere can do when they put their minds to it. Go Midd!

  8. Fantastic work and a beautiful home. I cannot wait to see this in Irvine.! I am sure Team InSite will be extremely successful and again, show others what an amazing group of individuals students form Middlebury are! Safe travels to you all and as well as the arrival and reconstruction out west!

  9. Congratulations to your whole team! I’m so very impressed with the present generation of Midd students and your amazing accomplishments. The solar decath house is such a remarkable example! I wish you luck in the next few weeks of “breaking it down,” “re-assemblngs,” and THE Competition! I will be following your progress at the competition — best wishes!

  10. How do you disassemble? How much of the foundation is drilled into the ground?

  11. I have some questions too, because I am very excited by what you have accomplished, and I am wondering if it is something my husband and I could build. (He’s the architect/engineer.)
    How much did it cost to build? Would you be willing to share your plans and specs after the competition?

  12. Lindsay, thanks for your comment. You might find it helpful to visit the team’s website: There is a lot of information there as well as contacts for the team if you’d like more details.

    -Stephen Diehl

  13. Hi Shayna,

    Please take a look at this blog post by Project Manager, Jack Kerby-Miller for information on how we break the house into panels and transport it to CA.
    The house sits on steel plates at the moment to create a temporary foundation for the competition. When it comes back to Midd, it will sit on a concrete foundation that we are beginning to set soon.

    Hi Lindsay,
    It’s great to hear your interest in our project! After the competition, our drawing documents and specifications are posted online through for anyone to download and use! Be sure to check back in October! The cost of the home right now sits around $270,000. However, if you

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    were to rebuild it, you most likely would not have to panelize it for transport to California, and we estimate that that could reduce the cost by up to 10% on material savings. We would love to talk to you and your husband about the mission and guiding principles that we used and that we believe can influence any design to be more “InSiteful” though- or check them out here:


    Cordelia Newbury

    Team Manager, InSite

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  14. Absolutely amazing! Love the concept, design, materials, & furnishings. The Midd team deserves so much credit for not only building this home but also for the outreach & education & how it will inspire so many other people. You are to be commended for helping our world be greener for future generations.
    Your collective thoughts, planning, hard work & persistance was worth it hopefully when you look at your completed home & impact on others. Good luck in CA. However, I think you’ve already won!!
    Oh & did I say I also love the sink & dishes!

  15. Wonderful! We have so much sun here in greece and very little solar applications! Wish we could plant one of your houses here!
    Middlebury parent..

  16. Once more, the Midd Solar Decathlon Team has designed an attractive yet energy efficient house.
    All of the team members last time and this year are amazing. Looking forward to a tour when up in Middlebury for Alumni College.

  17. Way to go again, Midd!

    FYI — in a very unofficial poll, name recognition for Middlebury College 明德大学 and its SD entries was high here in China as last week’s Solar Decathlon China played out…

    Keep making us proud, far and wide!

  18. Great work to all involved. I am so proud that we have such dedicated and talented individuals who really care about pioneering efficient, livable, clean-energy designs. (And it looks fabulous too!) Nicely done, team. Good luck in the competition.

  19. I was thrilled to read after last year’s Decathlon that MIDD was one of the schools invited to submit a plan in another competition. Your team has done us all proud and we wish you every success in this year’s Decathlon!

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