Bestlaminate Answers FAQ Questions:
Home >> Design >> Made With STILE Series: Exterior Design
Made With STILE Series: Exterior Design

Made With STILE Series: Exterior Design

There’s no denying the exterior of the STILE House is eye-catching and unique. So how did the WVU-UTV team come up with this unconventional design, and how does it all come together to be sustainable?

We have the inside scoop on the design components and each of their purposes in creating an off-the-grid home:

The Arch:


Inspired by the team’s dual cultures, the arch is heavily focused in ancient Roman architecture. Not only is it a design element, but the arch will act as the support structure for solar panels and provide the perfect angle to catch the most sunlight.

As well as hosting the solar panels, the arch plays a role in decreasing the energy needed to cool the house by shading the living area during the summer months.

Solar Panels:

The house is equipped with 36 285-watt solar panels. These panels will produce energy to create a net-zero house. The U.S. Department of Energy defines a net-zero energy home as one that uses about 60 to 70 percent less energy than a conventional home, with the balance of its energy needs supplied by renewable technologies. These solar panels will create enough energy for all of the lighting, energy efficient appliances and household electronics, allowing the home to be off-the-grid, sustainable and green.

The Living Space:

Blue Print - Shipping Containers

The structure of the main living areas is primarily deconstructed steel shipping containers, which is a huge trend in the housing market right now. Considering the look of this home, you may never have guessed the house was made with these!

By using shipping containers, STILE House incorporates a recycled, structurally sound module that can be easily transported and re-assembled. Shipping container homes provide an alternative use for decommissioned containers and creates responsible building practices utilizing recycled materials.

The Windows:


Adding aesthetics, functionality and energy efficiency, the glass lined wall in the front of the house is a huge factor in the exterior design of this home.

  • Aesthetically, the windows make this home look modern, high-end and open.
  • Functionally, the windows connect the homeowners with the outdoor environment (a big concept goal for the team), as well as providing access to the deck through the sliding doors on both sides of the home.
  • And the most important factor is the energy efficiency these windows provide. Having such large windows allows for more sunlight to enter the house, cutting down on lighting and helping to aid the capture of heat in winter months.

The Deck:


The main function of the deck was to provide additional living space to the home. It integrates seamlessly into the interior of the home, and allows plenty of space for entertaining, decorating and planting…because no Eco-friendly house is complete without a garden! The arch creates a shaded patio, giving it yet another use in the home design.

The deck is connected to a front and rear ramp that creates easy accessibility for anyone who enters the home, not to mention ease of moving in!

Isn’t it amazing how much thought is put into each component of this house? Let us know what you think about this project so far and if you have any questions for the team!

And don’t forget to connect with the WVU-UTV team on social media for live posts!

P.S. – If you would like to get involved and donate to the team, you can make your donation here.

About Alana Kane

Alana Kane
Alana is the Marketing Manager at Bestlaminate and a 200 HR certified yoga teacher. Usually found on social media sites or twisted into a pretzel shape, she is full of creativity, optimism, laughs and adventure. Some of her favorite things include: traveling, animals, yoga, trying new things and going to concerts. If you have any specific questions for Alana, you can contact her at


  1. Hi,

    This house looks great. Is it ready? where and when can I see it?


    • Alana Kane

      Hi Hashim! The team is currently mid-construction on their first build on the WVU campus, which will be deconstructed and shipped to California. The final house in the competition will be completed by October 8. We should have a sneak peak of the first build within a few weeks. Stay tuned!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *