The Solar House Team at Missouri University of Science and Technology is planning a groundbreaking and “solar social” for Friday, Aug. 10. The main ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m. at the construction site on 10th Street in Rolla – on a portion of the property used for Missouri S&T’s golf course. The public is invited.
Missouri S&T students have built four previous houses, which are now located down the street from the new construction site in S&T’s solar village. Some of the homes are rented by students. One faculty member has moved his family there. Tours at the village will be given from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Aug. 10.
The team is currently finishing its new designs and will soon begin building the latest solar house.
The completed house will eventually be shipped to Irvine, Calif., and reassembled for Solar Decathlon 2013. Twenty universities, including Missouri S&T, were chosen for the competition, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. S&T and the University of Kentucky are the only teams from the Midwest. Universities from Canada, the Czech Republic and Austria will also participate. The teams’ houses are judged in 10 categories.
Project manager Emily Vandivert says the S&T team is focusing on its strengths – mainly engineering skills. Vandivert, a senior in architectural engineering from Maryville, Mo., adds that it’s basically going to be a “smart house.”
Eric Mullis, a sophomore in computer engineering from St. Louis, is another team member. “We are trying to focus on engineering, emerging efficiencies and adaptable living – with moving parts, including a grid wall, adjustable solar panels and transforming furniture,” says Mullis.
Missouri S&T’s Solar House Team has about 60 members. Approximately 20 students will travel to California next year.
While the DOE provides grants to the universities selected, the teams must still raise money for construction, shipping, and travel expenses.