Over on Inhabitat, Tafline Laylin reports on a “micro” home with a secret: it’s actually pretty massive.


The Dynamic Augmented Living Environment, aka “DALE” was designed right here in the LA/Pasadena area by students at SCI-Arc (The Southern California Institute of Architecture) and CalTech (California Institute of Technology). As part of this year’s Solar Decathlon competition, the two combined forces to create a “net-zero” living space, capable of existing completely off the grid.


What’s different and quite cool about this small, sustainable home is what you can do with it. Two airtight, prefabricated modules are set on rails that allow them to separate, creating a courtyard space with an optional solar canopy. Usable living space goes from 600 sq. ft. to almost 1,800 sq. ft., then slides right back to its original size as needed. The two parts can function individually or as a complete unit, offering the flexibility to change with the weather, for example. Or to allow a bunch of friends to come over and hang out.


A sophisticated solar power system provides climate control plus hot and cold water. The stylish, very practical living space isn’t in mass production yet, but that could change soon. See it for yourself at the Solar Decathlon, October 3rd through 13th in Irvine. For more info on the project, click here.

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