Exterior rendering. Courtesy Stanford Solar Decathlo

Innovation from bright minds has a pathway to the industry through the US Department of Energy's well established Decathalon competition. One of the benefits of the format of this program is that it taps minds that are not yet jaded by work processes or legacies - they have an open slate to contribute ideas.

Here are some of the favorite takeaways from House Logic.

Your house is going to get smarter, cheaper, more energy efficient, and way cooler-looking.

Here are the features that really spoke to our love for energy efficiency, livability, sustainability, and value-added function:

A money-saving shower. A heat-recovering shower tray captures warmth from hot water before it goes down the drain, helping to reduce hot-water energy costs by about 30%.

Solar panels that don’t just sit there. Shade screens made with solar PV panels slide out over patios to provide summer shade, then roll back over the roof to allow solar gain during the cooler months, all the while generating enough electricity to completely power your house.

A built-in doctor. A health-monitoring system with floor-integrated sensors and wristband monitors calculates body mass index and helps monitor blood pressure and other health factors, integrating holistic health into the home environment. It’s ideal for seniors or those with chronic health problems.

Edible interiors. Indoor landscaping with edible plants, living walls, and cutting gardens bring the outdoors inside. When combined with accessibility and universal design features, interior landscaping creates an especially healthy, healing environment for war vets and those with disabilities.

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