Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015


Every two years the U.S. Department of Energy sponsors the Solar Decathlon competition in Irvine, California. Clemson was selected from universities around the world to design and build a solar home that is cost-effective, energy-efficient, and visually appealing. The competition winner best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency of their design. Comprised of architecture, engineering, and social science majors, along with dedicated faculty members, Clemson’s team will be one of sixteen competitors this fall. Clemson will build and operate their home, Indigo Pine, all within a three-bedroom, 1,000 square feet, net-zero energy, solar house that is cost-efficient in today’s market and comfortable in South Carolina and comparable climate zones. Clemson University is altering the competition standards by choosing to "email" the house across the country using only digital files to cut out the structural system using a CNC routing machine. This system, referred to as Sim[PLY], allows Indigo Pine to be built virtually anywhere a CNC is available using off-the-shelf materials while also eliminating the need for large, unsafe machinery in construction. Indigo Pine is challenging the construction and design world to think differently about light wood framing and construction in general.