S&T’s Solar Village open house part of Environmental Summit

The Missouri S&T Solar Village – four solar-powered homes designed and built by Missouri University of Science and Technology students – will be open to the public on Wednesday, Dec. 15, as part of a day-long Environmental Summit on the Missouri S&T campus.


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Students will provide tours of the solar-powered homes from 3-6 p.m. Dec. 15. The Solar Village is located on 10th Street across from the Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building.

Missouri S&T students began building the solar houses in 2000 at a rate of one every two or three years. The homes were constructed as part of the university’s participation in an international student design competition, the Solar Decathlon.

As the homes were finished, they were made available to students and faculty for rent. One of Missouri S&T’s newest faculty members, Dr. Daniel Oerther, will become the village’s newest resident when he and his family move into one of the homes in January. Oerther is the John A. and Susan Mathes Chair of Environmental Engineering at Missouri S&T and also serves as director of the Environmental Research Center (ERC).

The goal of the Solar Village is for the houses to produce enough energy to be self-sustaining. Technological improvements since the first home was built help make the newer homes more sustainable. The last house built by S&T students, for instance, has solar cells that are almost 30 percent more efficient than those used on the first home.

The Environmental Summit is sponsored by Missouri S&T’s ERC and Institute for Environmental Excellence (IEE). The summit will be held in the Havener Center. According to Oerther and Angela Rolufs, director of the IEE, the summit’s purpose is to identify the top five environmental research areas to be undertaken at S&T over the next five years with financial support from the ERC.

The day’s events include brainstorming sessions using a 5x5x5x5 format (five PowerPoint slides, presented for a total of five minutes, highlighting the top five environmental research thrusts for the next five years), poster presentations and breakout sessions for discussion of the environmental research projects.

The Environmental Summit begins at 9 a.m. and continues through 3 p.m. Missouri S&T Chancellor John F. Carney III will welcome attendees with remarks at 9:30 a.m.

The public is welcome to attend the events but registration is required. To register, go to http://iee.mst.edu/Environmental_Summit.html.