lisa-marie mueller

lisa-marie mueller


detailing performance-based design

3rd Place in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015
Architectural Design Studios | Fall 2014 - Fall 2015 | Professor Richard Beller
Region: San Luis Obispo county to San Diego county
Project Team: Over 100 students and more than 10 faculty across majors and departments


The design of INhouse is driven by climate and place. It demonstrates how to live well while still living within our ecological means. Some of the features of the home includes an exterior shade screen made from local, sustainably harvested redwood. The screen is denser at the areas of the house that receives the most sun throughout the year. Additionally, the house has a phase change material duct that allows for heat exchange with the thermal mass using a small fan for low-energy heating and cooling.

As co-project manager, I worked with team members to meet the Department of Energy deadlines. For design development documentation, I worked on plans, elevations, and sections for the project. Throughout Spring quarter 2015, I worked on the construction documents for our home, completing wall sections and details including those pictured here. A unique challenge was detailing how to take apart and transport our home. With faculty support, I reviewed areas where parts of the rigid insulation could be removed for transport and how the waterproofing can overlap at the module connections.

In San Luis Obispo, I assisted with construction including setting the foundation piers and constructing the decks and planters. I was on the construction site every day responding to RFIs, tracking changes to the drawings, and observing construction progress. During construction in Irvine, we watched the crane as it placed the modules, helped set and stake the foundation piers, and assisted with water delivery. There were many unique challenges we overcame by constructing a transportable home.

At the competition, I gave tours to the public, presented to an international panel of judges, and performed tasks in our home like running laundry and cooking dinner. After meeting people from around the world and competing against 16 other universities, we came in 3rd place overall. We also finished at 2nd place in market appeal, 3rd place in architecture, 4th place in engineering, and 2nd place in home life.

Photography of INHouse in Irvine courtesy of Thomas Kelsey, U.S. Department of Energy