What Millennials Want: The Gen Y Eco House
The Gen Y Eco House, constructed this summer by College of Design students and their instructor, James Garrett Junior, will be exhibited at the Eco Experience during the Minnesota State Fair, August 22 – September 2.
While conducting preliminary research, students surveyed millennials about their approach to home ownership and discovered Gen Y consider home
ownership to be very important but wants their house to fit their
lifestyle with a majority of
their area dedicated to gathering spaces.
Students also learned that the millennials consider the
dining room the least utilized space (possibly because survey respondents reported
cooking just three or four meals at home per week). Generation Y is also
concerned with energy conservation and renewable energy, so the class
designed a house reflecting these needs and their knowledge of
The small size of the house increases its sustainability by requiring
fewer materials in construction and creates a smaller footprint for
reduced heating and cooling. The smaller total area challenged the
students to come up with a way to provide all the amenities of a larger
home while keeping their house sustainable.
Their solution? The SuperWall. The Gen Y Eco House features a
SuperWall, a main interior wall that contains all the technology for
living: electricity, plumbing and cooking. The SuperWall includes
folding furniture and sliding, rotating walls that can be used to
conceal private spaces or create a larger room for entertaining. The
house also incorporates an outdoor patio for increased living space,
solar PV panels and recycled materials.
Visitors to the Eco Experience will also get a chance to experience the Home Energy Exhibit, which showcases 11 new displays on energy efficiency
and renewable energy. The exhibit will highlight ideas for energy
conservation in the kitchen, basement, family room and more.
The Department of Commerce organized the event with its partners
CenterPoint Energy, Warners’ Stellian, the Minnesota Pollution Control
Agency, Natural Built Home, ReUSE Minnesota, Center for Energy and
Environment, Minnesota Building Performance Association, Minnesota
Renewable Energy Society and Windustry.
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