Solar Chimney in a Dog House

Integrating active solar and subfloor heating, this dog house was designed by Burns McDonnell.

Accompanying the 2017 Solar Decathlon was the Sustainable BARKitecture Dog House Competition, a challenge to local Denver architecture firms to design and build the ideal solar dog house.

The homes were built for a specific Canine Airport Therapy dog and were on display at the Denver International Airport through Oct. 9th, 2017. The homes were sold in an online auction to benefit the Dumb Friends League.


Oreo’s creature comforts are balanced with renewable energy, water harvesting and local materials. Oreo’s house is equipped with a fan, solar chimney and underfloor heating system to moderate Oreo’s environment year-round. A rainwater catchment provides natural irrigation to a trellis for cooling vegetation and rounds out this house’s green features.

DEN Canine Airport Therapy Squad dog, Oreo, a shih tzu/bichon mix whose favorite activity is socializing.



To moderate the climate to keep a small breed like Oreo comfortable year-round and to support his social lifestyle with seating space for human visitors, a yard for play and a porch for viewing the world.


Architecture Firm: Burns McDonnell (They have audio currently integrated in their website – turn volume down if clicking through.)

Learn more about the Canine Airport Therapy Squad.



Keya Lea

Keya Lea likes to spend time outside, enjoying the sun.

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