Outdoor and Wood Patio, Porch, Deck Porches are a beloved element of the Southern vernacular and lifestyle, traditionally serving as an extension of the indoors—a shady place to gather, socialize, or share a meal. So when the students of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, entered the Solar Decathlon, a biennial energy-efficient residential design competition, the iconic space figured prominently in their concept. Here, a canopy of bifacial solar panels covers the porch and provides energy for the home.  12 Porches Across America by Diana Budds from About Face