Students Build Award-Winning Solar Home

NAHB Student Chapter members from Purdue University were honored with a National Green Building Award from the National Association of Home Builders for their single-family home project, the “INhome by Purdue University”.

The home was also recognized during the National Green Building Conference in April in the category for single-family concept and research. NAHB Student Chapters are administered by Home Builders Institute (HBI).

More than 200 Purdue University students worked over two years in advance of the biennial U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon where the challenge was to “design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.” The finished product, the INhome (short for Indiana home), placed second in the competition.

The INhome achieved net zero energy, meaning that the home used solar energy and energy-efficient features to produce enough energy for operations under normal occupancy. The team used passive solar design, solar panels and energy efficient features such as insulated panels, energy-efficient windows, and EnergyStar appliances to maximize energy capture and use. The home is also certified Gold under the National Green Building Standard.

Several members of the NAHB Student Chapter at Purdue University were part of the team that worked on the INhome, gaining valuable hands-on experience.

“Working on the Solar Decathlon project really helped bring everything I had learned in my classes directly to the field,” said Purdue University NAHB Student Chapter President Spencer Douglas. “This project led me right into what I will be doing with my career.” In fact, Douglas recently accepted a position with a home builder doing similar work on project supervision.

The INhome is on the market in Fayetteville, Ind., and the home’s operations will be monitored for the next five years to assess its ongoing energy usage.

For more information about NAHB Student Chapters, please contact Page Browning at HBI at 800-795-7955 x8918.



They did it, and so can you! Learn what it’s like to be an HBI student.



Sustain the development of the home building industry’s workforce by contributing to the National Housing Endowment’s “Support Our Future” online fundraising campaign. Your donation to the “Support Our Future” campaign will go directly to the NAHB Student Chapters and the Homebuilding Education Leadership Education Program (HELP).  » READ MORE


HBI seeks experienced workers from the home building industry to volunteer as mentors for youth in 28 cities in 11 southern states. HBI’s C-CORE program matches teens ages 16-18 with adult mentors from any facet of the home building industry who encourage them to consider careers in home building and coach them toward success.  » READ MORE