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Students Design Solar Home for National 'Decathlon'
College of Engineering and Applied Science

Recognizing the impact our buildings have on national energy use and the global environment, CEAE students have organized a team to compete in the Solar Decathlon — a national competition to design and build the most energy-efficient, innovative, and attractive home completely powered by the sun.

The CU-Boulder team in one of 14 selected by the Department of Energy to participate in the 10-part university competition, to be held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in October 2002.

For the past year, students from the colleges of engineering and architecture have been working together for the first time to show the public how intelligent architectural integration of today’s available technologies can increase building efficiency, decrease construction waste, and utilize renewable energy.

"The Solar Decathlon gives us an opportunity for hand-on learning and allows us to see the results of our design work," says engineering student Zeke Yewdall. Students will oversee construction of their 800-square-foot model home this summer and make preparations to transport it across the country for the competition.

While the main focus of the Solar Decathlon is on the Washington, D.C. competition, the team’s efforts won’t end there. The team plans to bring its house back to Colorado as an educational tool for future CU students and for outreach to surrounding communities.

"I’m really excited to know that our entry can be used beyond the completion of the competition to teach those in our community and beyond about the benefits of using renewable energy," says engineering student Celeste Leidich.