UAB developing solar home for Solar Decathlon international competition

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Multiple departments at UAB have come together to design a solar powered house. The group is one of a dozen competing in the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

The Surviv(AL) House took around one year to design with dozens of UAB students from different disciplines, faculty and staff, and local architects volunteering their time.

The completely solar powered home has a tornado safe room made with UAB-developed panels that can withstand 250 mph winds. It is also designed to beat the heat. Everything from the layout, to the UAB-developed technology to take moisture out of the air, are all ways to cut down on energy consumption.

One of the requirements of the competition is that the design must be available online. So, this project doesn’t have to just stop at UAB. Contractors all over the world could implement the plans in future projects to promote sustainability.

The Solar Decathlon is in October. Multiple tractor trailers will transport the home to Denver, where the UAB group will spend about a month competing and putting the home together.

The home is tested during the competition by judges to ensure there is enough solar power to power all appliances in the home.

If they are successful in developing a solar home, they will receive at least $100,000. Top winners can win up to three times that amount. The Surviv(AL) home will return to Birmingham and be a permanent fixture on campus as a learning lab and available for touring.

About 80 percent of the Surviv(AL) home materials have been donated. If you would like to help donate to the project visit:

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