Research & Innovation

Stevens Starts Construction on Net-Zero Solar Home

The student team representing Stevens Institute of Technology celebrated the ribbon cutting of Ecohabit, the team’s net-zero solar home that will compete against 19 other teams in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon in Irvine, CA. in October 2013.

“This is a really exciting time for the team, because after so many months of pouring so much time into designing and engineering the house, they finally get to see it come off the paper and become real,” said Mark Pollock, the team’s project manager.

Pridefully wearing their colorful team t-shirts, the students gathered around Ecohabit’s “L” shaped foundation overlooking the New York City skyline to officially present the home to Stevens and the greater Hoboken community.

“Ecohabit will be Hoboken’s second net-zero home,” said Professor John Nastasi, director of the Product Architecture program at Stevens and faculty lead for the project. “Our 2011 Solar Decathlon entry, Empowerhouse, was the first energy-neutral home built in Hoboken. We are planning on numerous open-house events over the summer to showcase the home and its inspiring innovations before transporting it to compete in California this fall.”

The home is being constructed on the Hoboken waterfront and will feature in-house design innovations such as on-demand hot water sensors, Dow Solar Shingles, a misting system that reuses condensate to cool outdoor units, and modular furniture construction that can be reconfigured over time and adapt based on the needs of the users among other innovative and exciting technologies. 

Students will continue to work on the house throughout the summer before dismantling it and sending it across the country to Irvine, CA., where it will be rebuilt and displayed to spectators at the XPO, a world’s fair of clean, renewable and efficient energy as part of the Solar Decathlon.

To learn more about Ecohabit and Stevens Solar Decathlon team, visit