Published: Nov. 17, 2002

Coloradans are now getting a chance to see CU's award-winning Solar Decathlon home, which thousands of people visited in Washington, D.C., last month.

CU students who designed and built the winning home in the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon will give a one-hour presentation on their experience and open the home for a weekend of public tours. The solar-powered home has been brought back to Colorado and reassembled on the Boulder campus south of the Benson Earth Sciences Building.

The team will present "The Solar Decathlon Story," on Friday, Dec. 6, at 4 p.m., in Benson Earth Sciences, room 180. The building is located on Colorado Avenue south of Folsom Field.

Members of the team will discuss their winning entry and share highlights of their experience competing in the 10-day contest in Washington, D.C. Ron Stump, CU-Boulder vice chancellor for student affairs, will congratulate the team on behalf of the Boulder campus. The team also will recognize sponsors who supported their project financially.

The Solar Decathlon home will be open to the public before the presentation, from 3 p.m. to 3:50 p.m., and again after the presentation from 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., when the home will be lighted for the holidays.

The solar home also will be open to the public on Dec. 7 and Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in conjunction with Historic Boulder's annual Historic Homes for the Holidays Tour. Tickets are not required to see the solar home.

CU's Solar Decathlon home was a collaboration between students in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU-Boulder and the College of Architecture and Planning at CU-Denver and CU-Boulder. Architectural engineering Professor Michael Brandemuehl served as faculty adviser.

The Department of Energy organized the Solar Decathlon to showcase renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. The competition involved students at 14 universities, who competed to design and build the best solar-powered home. 

Each house, limited to a maximum of 800 square feet for purposes of the competition, was judged on 10 criteria ranging from design and livability to heating, cooling, lighting, refrigeration and powering an electric car. The contest was held from Sept. 26 to Oct. 5 on the National Mall for thousands of people to tour as one of the homes in the "Solar Village."

The CU home was named the overall winner on Oct. 5, with its blend of aesthetics, energy production and energy efficiency. CU also won first-place in individual contests for engineering excellence, interior comfort, and graphics and communication.

The contest was sponsored by the Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, BP Solar, The Home Depot, EDS and the American Institute of Architects.

Additional sponsors of the CU team include the Xcel Energy Foundation, Astropower, M.A. Mortenson Co., and the Colorado Governor's Office of Energy Management and Conservation.

For more information on the CU Solar Decathlon home, visit