Solar Homestead now being offered by Deltec Homes

Chelsey Fisher

The 2011 student-built Solar Homestead design is now on the market courtesy of Asheville-based homebuilder Deltec Homes.

“For the foreseeable future, we could come up with other designs that the university students and professors create to offer to folks, President of Deltec Homes Steve Linton said. “It’s inspiring for us to
see the magic that happens when you get a good group of people together.”

The house is appraised for at least $220,000, which is a requirement for the Solar Decathlon, according to a university news release.

Linton said licensing royalties will go back to support the university.

“It’s a cool idea that proceeds from the house get put back into the next generation of students,” Linton said.

The Solar Homestead was Appalachian’s project entered in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2011 international solar decathlon. The design won the People’s Choice Award in the competition.

Linton said Deltec first came across Appalachian’s model at the International Builder’s Show in Florida.

Deltec Homes plans to offer the Solar Homestead as one of its models for some time to come and is hopeful more designs will come from a partnership with Appalachian State, Linton said.

Deltec Homes has a focus on building houses in a “green way,” according to

Michael Germano, senior architectural design and appropriate technology major, worked on the Solar Homestead.

“We always had the goal of not only producing a highly efficient home but also a truly livable home,” Germano said. “Now that Deltec has taken the Homestead to production it reaffirms the People’s Choice Award, I’m proud to have been a part of it.”

Deltec played a “vital role” in the Solar Homestead by donating most of the lumber to build the home, Germano said.

“They also invited us into their shop in Asheville to use their tools and learn their methods for mass producing wall assemblies,” Germano said. “We were able to build all of the walls in 3 days which greatly reduced time.”

Senior construction management major Austin Westmoreland said it was “amazing” Deltec is offering the Solar Homestead design.

“I’m glad to see something that a bunch of students can do actually [sold on the market],” Westmoreland, who worked on the Solar Homestead, said.

“Four or five people that work at Deltect are Appalachian alumni,” Linton said. ” [We liked] the ground breaking design with the expandability of the home. There were a lot of other great projects, but they were all one-bedroom. ASU’s home was something that my [family of four] could live in. Expandability set them apart – that’s why they won the People’s Choice Award.”


Story: JOSHUA FARMER, Intern News Reporter