Enable is a solar-powered 994 sq. ft home designed for Baby Boomers looking to age in place. Our team, House by Northwestern, entered Enable into the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon 2017 competition. As the storage designer on the Interior Design team, I was tasked with designing a kitchen that was both ADA-accessible as well as energy efficient.
The Interior Design team did comprehensive research on the target audience in the Evanston and North Shore area of Chicago, Illinois area, completing interviews, surveys, and persona development. We envisioned an energy-efficient solar house for Baby Boomers in their late 50s and early 60s looking to downsize from their current homes - a house that was homey, but modern; functional, but with a small environmental footprint. I chiefly designed the kitchen, which has strategically placed appliances, easy to open cabinetry, and ample space. Kitchen countertops are made in Chicago from recycled glass sourced from industrial waste sites.
- Evanston Baby Boomer
Enable did well at the Solar Decathlon, winning 1st place in Communications, 1st place in Market Potential, and 3rd place in Engineering. While in Denver at the Decathlon, an interested homeowner purchased Enable, making our home the only one to be sold at the competition. The house has been shipped back to Chicago, where it will be permanently placed on the buyer's land. To learn more, visit the Enable/House by Northwestern website.