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EXHIBITIONS: Fri, October 28, 2011

Mr. CHIP Goes to Washington: A Solar Decathlon 2011 Exhibition

Mr. CHIP Goes to Washington—A Solar Decathlon 2011 Exhibition
October 28 – December 16, 2011

Discussion + Reception: Friday, October 28, 7-9pm in the SCI-Arc Library Gallery

Discussion with Project Managers Reed Finlay and Elisabeth Neigert, SCI-Arc and Caltech Team Members and SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss

Its creators call it CHIP—the Compact, Hyper-Insulated Prototype. Team SCI-Arc/Caltech’s Hanwha Solar CHIP House entry in the award-winning competition recently hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington D.C. is the focus of the upcoming SCI-Arc Library exhibition, Mr. CHIP Goes to Washington—on view October 28 through December 16. Consisting of photos, videos, and time-lapse footage from the process of the build in Los Angeles and the heated 10-day competition in D.C., the exhibition depicts the process of building and showcasing the 733-square-foot house that placed 6th overall in the international competition.

“SCI-Arc and Caltech have really taken on the question of livability in American housing and offered a new sensibility for both its content and its character,” said SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss. “The CHIP is a welcome address to an alternative housing future.”

The two schools joined forces in early 2010 to become the first team from Southern California to be selected for the prestigious U.S. DOE competition, held every other year. The competition invites university student-led teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, energy efficient, and well designed. Among this edition’s highlights, through orchestrating an unprecedented viral campaign, Team SCI-Arc/Caltech was instrumental in ensuring the Solar Decathlon competition will continue to be hosted on the National Mall in Washington D.C.

Team SCI-Arc/Caltech secured one of the biggest cash sponsorships received by a team through a gift from Chinese solar panel manufacturer Hanwha Solar—who was principal sponsor and exclusive solar module supplier for CHIP. The house was equipped with 47 solar panels to power it through the entire duration of the competition and scored 1st place in Energy Balance, 2nd in Engineering and 3rd in the Affordability contest. It would cost approximately $300,000 to replicate CHIP, including materials and labor.

Additional sponsors of the SCI-Arc/Caltech team included NREL, Southern California Edison, U.S. Department of Energy, Dow Chemical, Resnick Institute, Peter Cross, Bosch, The Vinyl Institute, Tim and Neda Disney, among others. For more sponsor details, visit