HGTV To Film Segment On CU Solar Decathlon Home

June 7, 2006

A Home and Garden Television -- HGTV -- film crew is scheduled to visit the University of Colorado at Boulder June 22 to record a segment on CU's winning Solar Decathlon home for its new program "Look What I Did!"

The filming, which is expected to take about six hours, will include interviews with CU students and faculty, a walk-through of the home in which interesting features are pointed out, construction demonstrations, "beauty shots" and footage of the team enjoying the home.

CU's solar home is an 800-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bath home that generates all of the energy needed for daily operation. The home was designed and built by CU architecture and engineering students to showcase renewable energy technologies through an international competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The home is temporarily located on Fisher Field, south of the Benson Earth Sciences Building on Colorado Avenue, where it has been used for educational purposes since returning from the October 2005 competition in Washington, D.C. It is scheduled to be moved July 15 to a permanent location in Prospect New Town, a New Urbanist community in Longmont.

"Look What I Did!" is a new program featuring unique and creative design projects completed by homeowners without the help of professional contractors and designers. Patrick Jager of Weller/Grossman Productions in North Hollywood, Calif., oversees the concept, which is designed to inspire viewers with bold, one-of-a-kind home projects, while providing information that would be useful to people undertaking their own projects.

Examples of the more than 300 profiled projects include a 50,000-gallon "wave" pool, a fully-stocked starship home theater and a castle built by just one man.

"The CU solar home is a glimpse into the future," says Jager, the supervising producer. "Its cutting-edge design speaks to ways to make a house both beautiful and energy efficient. We love projects that inspire and provide a bit of the unexpected. One of my favorite aspects of this project is that you can call it a 'salad' in that most of the materials come directly from nature. That's cool and something with wow factor."

The CU Solar Decathlon team describes its home as one you can "sink your teeth into," referring to building materials such as corn, wheat, soy, coconut, bamboo, flax and chocolate. The home also features a new, patent-pending building system of structurally insulated panels made from recycled wastepaper and soy insulation. The Bio-SIPs, which are based on research by architecture Professor Julee Herdt, provide superior insulating quality without the use of petroleum products.

"The opportunity to be featured on HGTV aligns with our goal of getting the word out about alternative energy technologies and products, and helping to integrate them into standard building practices," Herdt said.

CU brought home the first-place trophies from both the 2005 and 2002 Solar Decathlons, the first and only two competitions held to date. Both homes were sold to help pay for costs. The team is now at work on its entry for the 2007 competition, slated to take place in October 2007.

For more information on the CU solar home, go to solar.colorado.edu.

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