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Cornell's Solar House Landscaping Wins National Award

This photograph highlights the ornamental qualities of the award-winning functional landscape of Cornell's solar house. Onions, carrots, kale, colengela, peppers, beans and artichokes create a rich tapestry of texture and color. Paths through the garden ensure easy accessibility to the plants within the keyhole arrangement.

The Cornell student-designed and -built solar house that earned second place in the 2005 Solar Decathlon Competition now has won a student "Award of Honor" from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for its functional landscape.

The solar house landscaping covered 1,400 square feet with 1,500 edible plants and 240 square feet of tall fescue lawn. "At the simplest level, the design and display aimed to illustrate concepts of permaculture, creating an entirely edible garden that could be ornamental and aesthetic in both form and function," says ASLA's summary description. "Beyond this, the project demonstrated that sustainability could be achieved through this cohesive indoor/outdoor connection of house and landscape."

The home's dirty water, for example, was filtered and used to irrigate the lawn, and kitchen waste was composted to nourish the plants. The designers considered their landscape "a market basket, a filtration system, a collection system, a wildlife habitat and finally as a means of capitol production."

Team members include current and former students Natalie Bower, MLA '07, Jessy Schultz, MLA '06, Carrie Van Valkenberg, MLA '07, Linda Ciesielski, B.S. '06, Alison Endl, MLA '06, Ted Haffner, MLA '05, and Marc Miller, MLA' 05. Peter Trowbridge, Cornell professor of landscape architecture and department chair, served as their adviser.

The awards will be presented during the 2006 ASLA annual meeting, Oct. 6-10, in Minneapolis, Minn. The 640-square-foot home was sold at a campus auction April 7 for $121,000 to an anonymous Cornell alumnus.

Source: Cornell University

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April 20, 2019, 3:59 pm PDT

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