Archives for October 2007

A Few Pictures

Since we haven’t posted many pictures, here are a few that I took in Washington D.C.
This is an interior shot from the hall, looking toward the front door during construction on the National Mall. Each one of those windows on the curved "header" comes apart separately to ship the house.

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05 Solar House Sighting

I was in Chicago last weekend on a random bus and I happened to look up at the advertisements on the top walls. There was a poster for a Green Home Expo and it had a small partial picture of the 2005 UMR Solar House on it. Check out the picture below. It is the picture just to the left of the large pole. There isn’t much there, but it’s definately recognizable.

Of course I got really excited and started telling everyone that I actually built the house that was in the picture. How cool is that?!

Cost Per Square Foot

What is the Cost per square foot of the 2007 solar house?
The cost of a marketable prototype of the UMR Solar House is approx. $200,000.
The foot print of the house is 800 square feet. That comes out to be $250/square foot.

The results are in

The results came back. The UMR Solar House finished in eleventh place, quite a bit lower than we had hoped, but still an amazing feat. In the end the team worked hard, had fun and helped save the world. As they say everyone wins with this type of project.
We have started talking about what our 2009 house will look like. Stay tuned to find out more!

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Market Viability is in

The results of market viability is in. UMR took 4th place. I guess the architects didn’t like the house, but the builders and real estate agents loved it!

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Village closed today

Today the house was closed to the general public for competition purposes. Right now we are ahead on the amount of energy stored in our batteries from where we started on Monday. What does that mean? Good things. Tomorrow is supposed to be a cloudy day here, especially between 10-2pm, the best hours for collecting energy from the sun. We will continue to monitor the batteries. As competition continues teams will start to make strategic decisions on what should be done. Should we focus in on getting energy balance? Should we put the energy into the GEM and convert it to mileage for points? Should we compete in the lighting and appliance categories? Can we do everything? Tomorrow, I believe we may see a turning point of the competition.
The Solar Decathlon points battle on the National Mall continues to wage, but we are currently leading the Hot Water and Appliances portions of the event. We have yet to be judged on Energy Balance and the all-important (to us) Engineering, and the Comfort Zone, Lighting, and Getting Around events are judged throughout the week, so no points have yet been awarded in any of those categories. In the morning we will find out the results of the Market Viability Contest.

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Thanks to all the friends of the UMR Solar House

We would like to thanks all those who graciously contributed to our "Support a Square Foot" program. All the people on this list contributed $100-$499 to the project. If you or your organization wish to Support a Square Foot, please contact us at or post here!
Friends of the UMR Solar House:
2 Smart Chix LLC
A-1 Moving & Storage
Adam V. Tiehes
Al Heinbokel
Anderson & Associates
Andrew, Connor, and Nathan Dickens
Anesha McKinney
ANS Student Section of UMR
Arby and Helen Moore
Arnold P. Harness
Ashlee Welton
Ashley and James Guise
Brad and Jana Miller
Carpenter’s Local No. 2298
Chris Kruger
Citadel Properties LLC
Constance and Jordan Heiman
Cynthia K. Hobart
Dan and Jane Sudkamp
Dave Bryant
David Bollinger & Family
David Cotter
Donald Higginbotham
Doug and Karla Carroll
Dr. Stuart Baur
Eta Kappa Nu
Fred R. Bunch – Attorney at Law
Gilbert D. Smith, M.D., LLC
Heartland Security
Herbert and Thelma Annis
Jaeques P Fransaw
Jerry Bayless
Jim Compton
Joe & Lynda’s Tater Patch
Joe Schaefer
Joel Lamson
John and Dorcas Park
Keith Corzine
Keller’s Rental Place
Kent W Lynn
Kreisler Drug Store
Lindsay Foundation
Lisa Battern
Lucas Sales
Marietta Burton Hiatt
Mark and Jonna Krueger
Mary Adams
Mary Emke
Medhi Ferdowsi
Michael R. Haney
Milton J. Murry
MiMi’s Café
MSM UMR Alumni Association
Nancy and Sam McCaughey
Nick Bristow
Patricia V. Gelner
Paul Hirtz
Paul Langenfeld
Peckham & Wright Architects, Inc.
Prasenjit & Swarnali
Rob Stone
Robert & Syndia Tucker
Robert and Cheryl McKay
Russel G. Wick, Jr.
Ryan Thortan
Scandura Family BSEE ’84
Sharone K. Pamiam
Steve Schnurbusch
Tau Beta Pi
Timothy P. Myers & Company
UMR IEEE-Student Branch
Valerie Nottage
William A. Stolz
William and Elizabeth Schluemer
William C. Dale, DMD
WM Snodgrass

CNBC Video

Here is the link to the video CNBC aired about our solar house.
The counter tops that they refer to in this video are made by PaperStone and the solar/domestic hot water system she showcases is made by Watt’s Radiant.
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And they’re off . . .

Yesterday at 10 am we saw the opening ceremony of the decathlon. Today, marked the first day of competition. Bright and early today, we had our first round of tours for the jury: Market Appeal, Architecture and Communications. All three tours went well. It was good to be the first team to host all three of these juries. We should start to see the results of these catagories starting sometime Monday morning. The next round of competition, that we will see, will be on Monday when they take Comfort Zone, Appliances, Hot Water, Lighting, and Energy Balance measurements. Also on Monday, we will start getting mileage credit for the electric GEM car for the Getting Around competition.
Our house is currently open to public tours all day. The house will be open 10-5 on weekends and 11-3 on weekdays. Wednesday the house will closed so they can measure the temperature of the house in a controlled environment. There are early reports that there are 20,000-30,000 people on the national mall today. Be sure to check us out if you are in the D.C. area we are lot 109.
As far as weather, it is partly cloudy, mid 60s. A great day for making electricity and giving tours!

WOW!This Is Not A Solar House, This Is A Solar HOME!!!

High praise, indeed, from a member of the solar house team that took 3rd place in the 2005 Solar Decathlon. We won’t mention the name of the well-known school, but it’s fabeled location is "Far Above Cayuga’s Waters". Regardless, we think you’ll agree that soon-to-be Missouri S&T’s stunning interior design would impress any stylish interior decorator, even this writer’s lovely wife.

UMR’s Solar House Team has long held that the Solar Decathlon is more than just about building a solar powered house, but more about designing and building an amazing energy-efficient house that also just HAPPENS to get all it power from the sun. And especially an efficient, solar-powered house that people would actually want to LIVE in. Don’t believe us? How about UMR’s Solar Village, where our ’02 and ’05 house now serve as very popular student residences. Still don’t believe us? Why not visit the houses for yourself. We’d love to give you a tour.
Anyway, the previous Solar Decathlons had a very strong architectural perspective, and considering that most entries were designed more by architecture students than engineers UMR more than held its own, so much so that UMR’s 05 house was featured in Popular Mechanics magazine a few months later, and honored by the D-I-Y Cable channel as well. And we expect similar kudos for our really cool 07 house when the dust (er, judging) settles. Not bad for engineers, eh?
Stay tuned for more cool stuff from the nation’s capital.