But its afterlife has become a new beginning for families in the District.
“It was, like, surreal when I stepped into the finished product,” says Lakiya Culley, who will move in in January with her three sons.
“I was amazed. It was more than I could even imagine,” she says.
A second family will move from public housing into the adjoining three-bedroom home.
The families will go through a home ownership program and purchase the houses for $220,000, says Teresa Hamm, senior project manager at Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C.
“This project fulfills a longstanding vision of our team to create a house that would endure in a meaningful way after the Solar Decathlon was over,” Joel Towers, executive dean of Parsons The New School for Design, said in a statement.
Both units of the house are “site net-zero,” meaning they produce as much energy as they consume in the course of a year.
It is the first Passive House in the District, a designation as the leading international energy standard.
“It changes our lives significantly,” says Culley, who works as a secretary for the State Department.
The home is said to consume 90 percent less energy for heating and cooling than a typical home.
Affordability is the other key in the team’s design.