Case Study on Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Solar Decathlon Home SILO Features Energy Efficiency and Modular Design

By Beko US

As the only university to compete in every U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon since the first event in 2002, Missouri University of Science and Technology students have learned a lot from past experiences.


Project manager Luke Mueller, a 2017 Missouri S&T graduate, said, “We’ve always performed well in energy usage, air quality and other measured contests, but didn’t always achieve high marks in design and construction. This year’s entry will change all that.”


The Missouri S&T Team has created SILO (Smart Innovative Living Oasis), a home for empty nesters seeking a modern, sustainable, friendly place to relax and rejuvenate. Providing energy-efficient appliances for the home is Chicago-area-based Beko US, Inc. (www.bekoappliances.com).


The Solar Decathlon challenges the 12 participating university teams to design and build full-sized solar-powered houses, which are then disassembled, shipped to Denver, Colo., and reassembled for judging and exhibition to the public on Oct. 5-9, and 12-15, 2017.


The winner is the team that best blends design excellence and smart energy production with innovation, market potential, and energy and water efficiency. The universities compete in 10 contests: architecture, market potential, engineering, communications, innovation, water, health and comfort, appliances, home life and energy. Missouri S&T will receive prize money of $100,000 for its participation, and the overall winner will receive $300,000.


Beko Sponsors Missouri S&T Solar Decathlon Home/Add One


After the competition, the home will be relocated to the Missouri S&T Solar Village where past Solar Decathlon entries are placed and used for research and community engagement. Mueller says the home also will serve as student housing for team members as a “reward for being heavily involved in the project.”


Design and Technologies

Core aspects of the 996-square foot SILO include: a smart home automation system; innovative cutting-edge technologies such as a solar array, greywater reclamation and energy storage; abundant greenery and modern efficient appliances combined for truly smart living; and an oasis filled with ample sunlight, clean air and a relaxing atmosphere.


The open floor plan includes a mudroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, master bedroom and bathroom, and a second bedroom that converts into an office. An outdoor breakfast nook off the kitchen and decking off the master bedroom increases the living space.


Aesthetically, the home features clean lines, neutral colors, different textures of whites and grays, an open floor plan, and custom-made furniture. Metal, such as aluminum window frames, exposed steel trusses and corrugated metal, are used instead of wood. Five NanaWalls – folding glass doors – open to outdoor breakfast nook, and three panels in the master bedroom open to the back deck. A metal art piece curves from the front door to breakfast nook area to make the outdoors seem part of the house.


“Our students employed the functionality of a farmhouse, like large dining spaces and a connection with the outdoors, while adding modern design features that would ease people into sustainability,” Mueller said. “The home is also designed for a location with a view, offering an escape from suburbia.”


Key energy-saving features of the 986-square-foot SILO home include:

  • Passive solar techniques, including a solar thermal system to produce hot water, and solar panels to provide abundant energy for the home

Beko Sponsors Missouri S&T Solar Decathlon Home/Add Two


  • Physical and wireless networks that track, automate and maintain the HVAC system, lighting modules, window motors, fan headers and batteries
  • An energy monitoring system that sends feedback to the central control system to manage the power stored in the house’s battery, whether by selling energy to the grid or using the energy in the house
  • A moveable green wall and water wall on back deck
  • Variable speed heat pump and radiant flooring alongside an energy recovery ventilator to cool and heat the house efficiently and effectively
  • Greywater system which filters water from sink and washroom for use on plants, and a rainwater collection system for plants and landscaping


The SILO team chose the following energy-saving appliances from Solar Decathlon sponsor Beko:

  • Refrigerator (BFSB3622SS): The 36” counter-depth, side-by-side refrigerator features Everfresh+ and Active Fresh Blue Light technologies that safeguard food and ensure maximum freshness; filtered ice and water dispenser (through the door); stainless steel
  • Range (PRIR34450SS) – 30” pro-style induction range with four burners, including one with XL zone; XL 5.7 cubic-feet, self-cleaning SURF convection oven; knob illumination; fingerprint-free stainless steel
  • Dishwasher (model DDT25400XP) – 24” pro-style fully integrated dishwasher with 48dBA Silent Operation; five programs; flexible baskets; multipurpose removable third rack; fingerprint-free stainless steel
  • Stackable Compact Washer (WMY10148CO) and Dryer (model HPD24412W) – large capacity with 2.5 cu. ft. washing capacity and 4.1 cu. ft. drying capacity; 24” front-loading washer with 1,400 RPM maximum spin speed and 16 washing programs; 24” ventless heat pump dryer with 16 drying programs; chrome door rim; white


“Our team at Missouri S&T was looking for appliances that would perform well at Solar Decathlon, especially for the water, architecture, energy and appliance competitions,” said Mueller. “Beko provided a wide selection of products that were highly energy-efficient with aesthetics and design that combined cohesively with our home.”


Beko Sponsors Missouri S&T Solar Decathlon Home/Add Three


Beko’s innovative heat pump dryer made the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) 2017 ENERGY STAR Most Efficient list for using 50 percent less energy than conventional dryers. Beko was among the first to bring the ventless heat pump technology to the marketplace. The heat pump dryer uses a closed-loop heat exchange system to dry at lower temperatures, saving money on energy bills and providing superior protection for clothes.


In addition, several Beko dishwashers made this year’s ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient list, and all models have earned ENERGY STAR marks for using advanced

technology to clean dishes brilliantly with less water and energy. Unique design features include multiple insulation layers to reduce thermal loss, and a variable speed circulation motor that automatically adjusts for optimum water and energy consumption.


Beko’s ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators also save energy and money and conserve the planet. They are built with 99.9 percent lead-free materials, are 100 percent free from ozone-depleting greenhouse gases, and are manufactured with 85 percent recyclable components to help conserve the planet.  


In fact, the company has achieved the ENERGY STAR certification for over 90% of the major appliances in its Beko brand. According to the EPA, appliances with the ENERGY STAR label can help a consumer save $630 over a product’s lifetime.


With its sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017, Beko, the #1 European freestanding appliance brand just introduced into the North American market, is going the distance to help accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient products and design in American homes.


“Everything we do as a brand is centered around sustainability and innovation,” said Hasan Yardimci, president, Beko US, Inc. “Our support of the Solar Decathlon is in keeping with our commitment to provide consumers with products that are both good for the globe and support their everyday needs.”


Beko Sponsors Missouri S&T Solar Decathlon Home/Add Four


Beko US, Inc. was founded in June 2016 and recently opened a distribution center in Bolingbrook, Ill.


About Beko US, Inc.

Beko US, Inc. is a subsidiary of Arçelik A.S., whose vision is “Respects the globe, Respected globally.” The company is committed to developing highly energy efficient electrical appliances that deliver exceptional value, superior quality, and high levels of customer satisfaction by listening and responding to the needs of consumers. With a growing presence in 140 countries worldwide, Beko is the fastest growing major appliance brand in Europe and the top-selling brand in the United Kingdom. In June 2016, Beko secured a place in the U.S. market, with retailer commitments and a sister brand, Blomberg, that has been a top choice in premium developments across North America since 2008. In 2017, Beko US, Inc. received the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award for its outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. Beko is also the 2017 TWICE VIP Award winner in the high-efficiency washer category. For more information, visit www.bekoappliances.com or www.blombergappliances.com.


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