The National Wildlife Federation thinks Missouri S&T’s environmental efforts are pretty cool. So cool, in fact, that the federation picked S&T as one of five universities in the nation to receive its “Chill Out” award for “implementing creative approaches to on-campus sustainability.”
The NWF’s Chill Out: Climate Action on Campus award recognizes S&T’s development of the Solar Village, a neighborhood of four student-designed and -built solar homes adjacent to campus. Each of the structures, limited to an 800-square-foot roof footprint, was built for the Solar Decathlon, a biennual student design competition held in Washington, D.C. Three of the four homes are now inhabited by S&T students or faculty.
Missouri S&T’s recognition came in the category of innovative research and design technology.
Missouri S&T has participated in four different Solar Decathlons — in 2002 (the first year for the event), 2005, 2007 and 2009. Each of the solar homes created for that competition is now part of the Solar Village, which is located on west 10th Street, across from the Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building.
Missouri S&T Solar House Team member Patrick Williams, CE’11, calls the Solar Decathlon “an amazing experience” and praised the camaraderie surrounding the event. “It was empowering to see university students of several nationalities come together for one purpose: to prove that solar technology and sustainable construction is a viable option for homeowners of every walk of life,” Williams says. “Throughout the competition and rivalry with other schools, we bring new and exciting ideas to the table that will have a real impact on the world.”