Students Hold Construction Kick Off For Solar House Competition
Sponsored By U.S. Department Of Energy
March 25, 2002-- A team of
University of Virginia students has moved out of the classroom and
into the construction phase of an innovative solar-powered house.
celebrate, U.Va.s Solar Decathlon team will hold a
kick-off event April 4 at the building site in Crozet.
project is part of the 2002 Solar Decathlon, a competition
sponsored by the Department of Energy. The contest culminates in
September when students from the University of Virginias School
of Architecture and School of Engineering and Applied Science will
gather on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to display their
design, which uses energy generated entirely by the sun to power
and control all the functions of the house. The challenge of the
competition is to build a self-sufficient, 800-square-foot house.
The U.Va. team has designed a climate-responsive home that will
adapt to any environment and serve as an example of sustainable
collaborative venture pairs the School of Architecture and the School
of Engineering and Applied Science. Both stress environmental concerns
as integral to their curricula and research.
the spring of 2001, a team of architecture, landscape architecture
and planning students have been working with students in the mechanical,
electrical, civil, systems, computer science, and chemical engineering
fields. They are resolving the house design using 3-D computer modeling
and thermal dynamic simulation in the preparation of construction
drawings and details of the house. The team's advisors are Assistant
Professor of Architecture John Quale and Associate Professor of
Electrical Engineering Paxton Marshall.
graduate student and architecture project manager Adam Ruffin, the
project provides more than design experience. "In school we
have a limited amount of time, so we dont get to fully experience
the different phases of design," he said. "But this project
gives us the opportunity to work with engineers and adapt our knowledge
to designing a real house."
students are enthusiastic about the practical aspects of the project.
"This is real-life stuff. The process of doing this house would
be hard to simulate in the lab," said Ben Dorrier, a fourth-year
mechanical engineering major.
completed house will be moved to the National Mall in September,
where a panel of architects and engineers will judge the entries.
U.Va. will be joined in the three-week competition by 13
universities, including Carnegie Mellon University, the University
of Colorado at Boulder, Virginia Tech, the University of Maryland,
Texas A&M, and the University of Texas at Austin. All entries
will be open for public tours. Portions of the event will be broadcast
live on ABC-TV's Good Morning America.
the event, U.Va.s entry will be permanently installed on University
Grounds to be used as a guest house for visiting faculty. The team
also intends to use the house as a working laboratory for sustainable
design and renewable energies, and offer tours to K-12 students
from around Virginia.
April 4 kick-off event will begin at 4 p.m. at the team's temporary
construction site at the former Con-Agra facility in Crozet, Va.
Team members will be available to discuss the project and drawings,
and models of the design will be on display. Directions are attached.
information about the project is available on the Web at http://solarhome.lib.virginia.edu.
Jane Ford, (434) 924-4298