Middlebury College students unveil solar powered home

Middlebury College students unveil solar powered home

The Middlebury College Solar Decathlon team unveiled its solar home Saturday. The house was designed and built by the student lead team.
The Middlebury College Solar Decathlon team unveiled its solar home Saturday. The house was designed and built by the student lead team.
The Solar Decathlon competition is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and takes place every other year. This team from Middlebury College is one of 20 teams from around the world who will showcase a completely solar powered home in California later this year.
More than 100 Middlebury College students, from 25 different majors teamed up to build the 954 square foot home.
“Most of the time you end up with an end of semester paper, or project. We actually get to build a house,” said Dan Ladd, a senior and the team’s Finance Coordinator.
A house that’s gone from concept to reality in just two years. And students say they've learned a lot from that process.
“You see this home and you think oh, students learned to construct and design. But it's so much more than that. We’ve learned team management, we've learned fundraising, we've learned managing a budget, and we’ve learned how to organize a website. the entire thing has so many facets of learning,” said Ellie Krause, a senior and the team’s Design Coordinator.
To qualify for the competition the home has to be affordable, energy efficient and aesthetically appealing.
The home cost 280 thousand dollars to build - because it has to be able to be broken down into smaller parts to ship cross country for the competition.
But if you wanted to build the same house- it would be close to 210 thousand dollars.
“Even though yes it may cost more up front, it's really going to reduce your cost over the life of the entire home- as well as just being a more environmentally friendly home than most homes on the market,” said Ladd.
Students say they hope that trend catches on.
“Our ultimate goal is to design the future we'd like to live in,” said Krause.
In the beginning of September the students will take the house apart- and ship it to California by train.
Then once it’s there the students will have nine days to re-assemble the house before it will go on display for the competition in October.
The students still have a little ways to go before they hit their fund raising goal of $1.4 million dollars. To learn more about the project or if you’d like to donate- visit the team’s website.

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