It takes several big trucks and a fair amount of logistical planning to ship a house to Washington, D.C.
Team members re-constructed their 2007 house on the National Mall for the Solar Decathlon, a student design competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Approximately 100,000 visitors toured the homes during the competition, which was won by Germany’s Technische Universitat Darmstadt. The solar houses were judged in categories ranging from architecture to engineering to comfort. UMR placed fourth in the market viability category and 11th overall.
More than 30 UMR students worked on the house for almost a year leading up to the competition. Twelve students traveled to Washington for construction and deconstruction, while six students remained for the entire competition: Travis Brenneke, a sophomore in electrical engineering, Jacob Colbert, a junior in electrical engineering and civil engineering, Samantha Markus, a junior in engineering management, Michael Pyles, a sophomore in environmental engineering, Adam Smith, a sophomore in history, and Lucas Sudkamp, a junior in architectural engineering.
After the event in Washington, the house was trucked back to Rolla and placed on its original foundation in UMR’s Solar Village. Two houses built for previous Solar Decathlons have already found permanent homes in the village across from UMR’s Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building, where they
serve as student rental houses.
During the Solar Decathalon, UMR’s house received broad coverage, including mentions in USA Today and CNBC, which had a live broadcast of its “Street Signs” program from the UMR house.