This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 06, 2011

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 Team Uses Appalachian Mountain History to Model Home

In honor of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011—which challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive—we are profiling each of the 20 teams participating in the competition. For our second profile, we spoke with Appalachian State University's faculty advisors Jamie Russell and Chad Everhart about The Solar Homestead, their team's entry into the competition. Both Chad and Jamie are professors from the university's Building Science program in the Department of Technology. Chad provided guidance for the architecture and design portions of the project, while Jamie helped with the engineering side of things.

Chad told us that the original idea for The Solar Homestead was created in the fall of 2009 by a group of eight graduate students who put together a design proposal for entry into the Decathlon. The team, he says, was inspired by the pioneer spirit of the early settlers in the mountain region of North Carolina near the school's current location. See the Energy Blog post.