Feb. 1, 2013. Appalachian State University is one of only three U.S. universities selected to participate in the prestigious Solar Decathlon Europe 2014, an international competition inspired by the U.S. Solar Decathlon that challenges student teams to design and build an energy-independent solar house. Twenty projects were selected for the competition out of a total of 44 candidacies from 23 countries.
Appalachian is partnering with the University of Angers in Angers, France. The collaboration, dubbed Team Réciprocité, will present their energy plus house design, Maison Reciprocity, in Versailles from June through July 2014.
“The Solar Decathlon event provides a unique opportunity for students, professors and the Appalachian community to work together on a sustainable building design project to be displayed on the world stage in Versailles, France,” said Dr. Jamie Russell, assistant professor in Appalachian’s building science program and the team’s faculty director.
A highlight of the Solar Decathlon experience is collaboration. Led by the Department of Technology and Environmental Design, other departments at Appalachian, including communication, economics, and the sustainable MBA program, will actively participate in the project. Additionally, the partnership with University of Angers provides the opportunity for international collaboration.
“The collaboration extends across two campuses, two communities and two countries. This trans-Atlantic collaboration provides the dual benefit of an integrative design project experience with the fantastic learning and bridge building that comes with an international exchange,” said Russell.
Design and construction will take place on Appalachian’s campus in Boone. Throughout the next year and a half, the team will be responsible for meeting specific deadlines related to design, construction, promotion and more. If the team misses any deadlines throughout the course of the project, point penalties will carry forward to the contest event.
The Maison Reciprocity is the second Appalachian design to compete in a Solar Decathlon event. The Solar Homestead, the university’s entry in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011, earned the People’s Choice Award. The design concept is now available for sale through sustainable builder Deltec Homes of Asheville. The Solar Decathlon Europe Team hopes to build upon that success with its entry in the European competition.
Appalachian and Angers have a long-standing partnership that facilitates student and faculty exchanges between the two institutions. The university in France is known for its expertise in the global/life cycle costs of buildings, construction safety, landscape design, whole building automation, sustainability, aging in place, indoor air quality, exhibition planning and docent training, and 3-D virtual reality models and tours.
For more information about Solar Decathlon Europe 2014, visit http://www.solardecathlon2014.fr/en.