To tell this story correctly, we need to set the scene. Taking it back to the application, the crazy but amazing time when we decided to enter the Solar Decathlon Africa. First, we needed a house. Second, we needed a name. Not just a name, but one that would truly represent everything the team stands for and follow us through the entire competition.

What makes this team unique? What purpose will this house serve when it is built? How will people interact with this house, and the house with them in return?

These questions are integral to understanding what motivates this team. Our team is unique because we are composed of students from universities on three continents, in three countries, in three time zones, representing three cultures as a whole. But even through this separation, something brought us together. Call it what you want, but each member of this team is separately motivated to participate in the unique challenge that is the Solar Decathlon. Something connects these students to this specific project.

We are designing the home for the future. May it be the design intent that includes building an affordable home for those transitioning through stages of life, say from university to a job, or the focus on user-friendly technology that can be used to control the home and save time for the inhabitant. We are also focused on the environment, providing energy efficient solutions to combat changing environments on a residential level.

No matter the reason, the team is connected. The house is connected.

We wanted to highlight these connections, and what better way to describe them than with the prefix that says exactly that: inter. A Latin word that has a variety of meanings including “between”, “reciprocally”, “mutually”, “together”. We felt that this word represented our goals and the mission of the house.

The Inter House is designed to have intercultural architecture, interactive energy management systems, integrated control systems, and an interdependence with the environment.

Lucy (who was studying abroad during this time) was sitting on her bed in her Budapest flat, over an ocean away from Katie and the rest of the Mines team who were brainstorming what they could call such a project when she realized that it’s not hard to be so far away but feel so close to those you care about the most. It’s the relationships we make, the intentional ways we live that connect us.

Inter describes us in many ways, and we hope to connect people with effective solutions to low cost and environmentally conscious homes.

-Lucy Davis

Inter House Team Design Manager

Colorado School of Mines