CU To Host Public Celebration, Tours Of Winning Solar Decathlon Home

Published: Nov. 9, 2005

More than 100,000 people visited CU's zero-energy solar home last month during the second international Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C., and now Coloradans have a chance to see it too.

A public celebration of the CU team's back-to-back victories in the contest will be held on Friday, Nov. 18, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., starting with a presentation in the Mathematics Building Auditorium, room 100. The Math Building is located on Colorado Avenue at Folsom Street.

Members of the team will discuss their winning entry, branded "a house you can sink your teeth into," and share highlights of their experience competing in the 10-day contest in Washington, D.C. CU-Boulder Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano will congratulate the team along with Interim Provost Susan Avery, Dean Mark Gelernter of the College of Architecture and Planning and Dean Robert H. Davis of the College of Engineering and Applied Science. The team also will recognize sponsors who have financially supported the project.

The 800-square-foot home will be open for public tours after the presentation from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The home has been brought back to Colorado and set up on the Boulder campus west of the Math Building and south of Benson Earth Sciences.

The home also will be open to the public on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in conjunction with Historic Boulder's annual Holiday Home Tour.

CU won the Solar Decathlon competition both times it has been held, in 2002 and 2005. This year, the contest involved students from 18 universities in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Spain competing to design, build and operate the most attractive, efficient and comfortable solar home, while educating the public about alternative energy technologies.

The CU home was a two-year effort involving more than 100 students from the College of Architecture and Planning and the College of Engineering and Applied Science, with Professors Julee Herdt of architecture and Michael Brandemuehl of engineering serving as faculty advisers. A core team of about 20 students traveled to Washington for the competition.

The U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, American Institute of Architects, National Association of Home Builders, BP Solar, DIY Network and Sprint sponsored the competition.

The CU team has more than 70 of its own sponsors, including Prospect New Town, which is purchasing the home, M.A. Mortenson Co., Colorado Governor's Office of Energy Management and Conservation, Home Builders Association of Metro Denver, Outback Power Systems and many others.

For more information about tours, contact Julee Herdt at or Michael Brandemuehl at

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