Eco-friendly homebuilders charged up for Solar Decathlon

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On September 5, 2002

Their house now complete and running solely on sun power, students from the UMR/RTI Solar House Team are charged up about their entry in the Solar Decathlon, a competition to take place Sept. 26-Oct. 6 in Washington, D.C.

The UMR and RTI students, built the solar-powered house as part of the Solar Decathlon, a new competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The UMR/RTI Solar House Team is one of 14 student groups from U.S. colleges and universities participating in the Solar Decathlon. The teams are building 800-square-foot solar homes designed to accommodate a modern lifestyle.

"It is our hope that demonstrations such as these will show that solar power does have a place in the real world and will help change the way people use energy," says Corry Hailey of Dadeville, Mo., a senior in architectural engineering at UMR and director of design and construction for the team.

The team is putting the finishing touches on its ranch style solar home. "It has been powered up and running on 100 percent solar energy for over a week," says Dr. Paul Hirtz, assistant director of the UMR Student Design Competition Center.

The solar house is departing for the nation’s capital on Friday, Sept. 13, with its three modular sections being transported on tractor trailers. Students and advisors attending the event will leave Sept. 15 to meet the house when it arrives in Washington, D.C.

The team’s goal is to create a house that is visually appealing to the average homeowner and uses solar energy to power an array of energy-efficient appliances. The house is equipped with all modern appliances including a shower, dishwasher, washer and dryer (combined unit).

The UMR/RTI team is one of two teams from Missouri to compete in the Solar Decathlon. The groups will set up their own solar village on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Each team’s structure will be required to provide all the energy for an entire household, including a home-based business and the transportation needs to get in and around Washington, D.C., in an electric car.

More information about the event is available online at

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On September 5, 2002. Posted in News