Slideshow highlights Virginia Tech’s winning entry at Europe Solar Decathlon

| by John Johnson
Slideshow highlights Virginia Tech’s winning entry at Europe Solar Decathlon

When students from Virginia Tech brought home the championship in the Europe Solar Decathlon this summer, you could say it was poetic justice in the making. The group entered the U.S. Solar Decathlon in 2009 with the same house that won in Europe, but limped home with a disappointing 13th place finish after being disqualified from the first day of judging.

That roadblock, which left the team too far behind the competition to recover, resulted from the home not being inspected in time before the competition began, even though team members requested their home inspection well before the deadline.

“We were crushed,” says Joe Wheeler, the lead faculty advisor and an associate professor of architecture at Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design. “It was very hard to regroup after that.”

Regroup they did. Team VT scored a narrow, one-point victory in the Europe event with their Lumenhaus entry. (To view a slideshow of the winning entry, click here.)

One thing the judges liked about the Lumenhaus is its market viability. Wheeler says the judges believe the Lumenhaus is 100 percent ready for commercialization, and the judges love the modular ability of the home – which allows homeowners to easily expand the home as families grow, and then to break it down again as family moves out. Judges estimated that after being produced on an assembly line, the home would sell for $326,000.

Topics: Building Green, Cost of Ownership, Energy Audits, Heating & Cooling, Interior Design, Roofing, Solar Power

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