The Wind River house—competing the 2023 Solar Decathlon—is a partnership between the University of Wyoming Architectural Engineering program and Timshel Construction (Cory and Morgan Toye). Design work began in early 2021, and the project is substantially complete in April 2023. The site is a 6-acre rural parcel in the red canyon area near Lander.
The goal of the Wind River project is market transformation—to show Wyoming homeowners that a Zero-Energy house can be attractive and market-ready, and to show Wyoming homebuilders that they can build a Zero-Energy house with off-the-shelf equipment and familiar construction methods. We hope to inspire future clients, contractors, engineers, and tradespeople to imitate these methods and normalize this type of construction in the industry.
This is truly a real-world project. Because Timshel Construction is financing the project as a ‘spec home’, to be sold on the open market after the competition, the students’ design needed to meet the rigors of a real-world project in terms of economy, constructability, and consumer appeal. The students have designed and engineered the house to generate all of its energy needs, with a surplus in order to support electric vehicle charging.